Summer Solstice

NYT Sky Watch: Week of June 21

Summer officially arrived this morning at 1:46am Eastern time – the June solstice. At that moment, the Sun reached the point where it is farthest north of the celestial equator, kicking off summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. From New York, it is not possible to see the Sun directly overhead, but at 12:57 this afternoon, the Sun will attain its highest point in the sky for the entire year, standing 73 degrees above the southern horizon. Since the Sun will appear to move at such a high arc across the sky, the duration of daylight is now at its most extreme, lasting 15 hours and 4 minutes. But contrary to popular belief, the earliest sunrise and the latest sunset do not coincide with the summer solstice. The earliest sunrise actually occurred on June 14 (at 5:24am), while the latest sunset is not due until June 27 (at 8:31pm).

Joe Rao, lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium


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