The science behind the Summer Solstice

Weather Facts with Nicole Phillips

We’ve made it to probably one of the best seasons of the year, sunglasses are needed, a glass of lemonade and of course the sunscreen. Temperatures get warmer and many spend more time at the pool or at the beach but summer is a little more than just fun in the sun, it has a lot to do with the tilt of the earth.

Axis Tilt
Let’s talk about Earth’s axis because this is the main reason why we have seasons. Earth tilts on its axis at 23.5 degrees, the axis is always pointed in the same direction, this causes different locations to get the suns direct rays at different parts of the year.

Length of days
Unlike the Spring Equinox where the earth is not tilted towards or away form the sun, the earth is actually tilted towards the sun. This puts the sun directly north of the Equator on a line known as the Tropic of Cancer.

Areas north of the equator will receive more than 12 hours of daylight with the maximum amount of daylight at 24 hours on the Arctic Circ. You’ve probably heard of the phrase “land of the midnight sun”, this refers to those countries that are on or near the arctic circle who receive the 24 hours of daylight during the summer months.

If you live south of the equator you’ll receive less than 12 hours of daylight, those living along the Antarctic circle will receive less than an hour of daylight.

Summer begins at 5:44 PM EDT or 4:44 CDT on Saturday June 20th and will last through Tuesday September 22nd!

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