Detailed Pedia

Summer solstice

UT date and time of
equinoxes and solstices on Earth
event equinox solstice equinox solstice
month March June September December
year day time day time day time day time
2017 20 10:29 21 04:25 22 20:02 21 16:29
2018 20 16:15 21 10:07 23 01:54 21 22:22
2019 20 21:58 21 15:54 23 07:50 22 04:19
2020 20 03:50 20 21:43 22 13:31 21 10:03
2021 20 09:37 21 03:32 22 19:21 21 15:59
2022 20 15:33 21 09:14 23 01:04 21 21:48
2023 20 21:25 21 14:58 23 06:50 22 03:28
2024 20 03:07 20 20:51 22 12:44 21 09:20
2025 20 09:02 21 02:42 22 18:20 21 15:03
2026 20 14:46 21 08:25 23 00:06 21 20:50
2027 20 20:25 21 14:11 23 06:02 22 02:43
Earth during the summer solstice in June 2017

The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky (for areas outside of the tropics) and is the day with the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle (for the northern hemisphere) or Antarctic circle (for the southern hemisphere), there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun's declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°.

The summer solstice occurs during summer. This is the June solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the December solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.

Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in many temperate regions (especially Europe), the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as "midsummer". Today, however, in some countries and calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer.

Distinctions

Diagram of Earth's seasons as seen from the north. Far left: summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Front right: summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere.

Although the summer solstice is the longest day of the year for that hemisphere, the dates of earliest sunrise and latest sunset vary by a few days. This is because Earth orbits the Sun in an ellipse, and its orbital speed varies slightly during the year.

Although the Sun appears at its highest altitude from the viewpoint of an observer in outer space or a terrestrial observer outside tropical latitudes, the highest altitude occurs on a different day for certain locations in the tropics, specifically those where the Sun is directly overhead (maximum 90 degrees elevation) at the subsolar point. This day occurs twice each year for all locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn because the overhead Sun appears to cross a given latitude once before the day of the solstice and once afterward. For example, Lahaina Noon occurs in May and July in Hawaii. See solstice article. For all observers, the apparent position of the noon Sun is at its most northerly point on the June solstice and most southerly on the December solstice.

Full moon

The year 2016 was the first time in nearly 70 years that a full moon and the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice occurred on the same day. The 2016 summer solstice's full moon rose just as the Sun set.

Cultural aspects

The significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. For example, in Sweden, midsummer is one of the year's major holidays when the country closes down as much as during Christmas. In some regions, the summer solstice is seen as the beginning of summer and the end of spring. In other cultural conventions, the solstice is closer to the middle of summer.

Summer solstice sunset over the Mojave Desert 7:54 p.m. PDT (19:54) June 20, 2016
Longreach, Queensland at mid-day of Summer Solstice (with respect to southern hemisphere) or Winter Solstice (with respect to Northern hemisphere), 22 December 2019. The town is on the Tropic of Capricorn (Shadow directly below the sign)

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Date

Date of the northern hemisphere's summer solstice over time. The ~25 drops per century are leap years when the date shifts back one day due to the insertion of February 29. There was no leap year in 1800 or 1900, which explains why there is no drop those years.

Celebrations

Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere

Length of the day on solstices

The following tables contain information on the length of the day on 20 June 2016, close to the summer solstice of the Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice of the Southern Hemisphere. The data was collected from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute as well as from certain other websites.

The data is arranged geographically and within the tables from the longest day to the shortest one.

Fennoscandia and the Baltic states
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Russia Murmansk 24 h
Norway Bodø 24 h
Finland Rovaniemi 24 h
Sweden Luleå 1:00 21.6.2016 0:05 23 h 04 min
Russia Kem’ 1:44 23:42 21 h 58 min
Iceland Reykjavík 2:55 21.6.2016 0:03 21 h 08 min
Norway Trondheim 3:02 23:37 20 h 35 min
Faroe Islands Tórshavn 3:36 23:21 19 h 45 min
Russia Petrozavodsk 2:55 22:33 19 h 38 min
Finland Helsinki 3:54 22:49 18 h 55 min
Russia Saint Petersburg 3:35 22:25 18 h 50 min
Norway Oslo 3:53 22:43 18 h 49 min
Estonia Tallinn 4:03 22:42 18 h 39 min
Sweden Stockholm 3:30 22:07 18 h 37 min
Latvia Riga 4:29 22:21 17 h 52 min
Denmark Copenhagen 4:25 21:57 17 h 32 min
Lithuania Vilnius 4:41 21:59 17 h 17 min
Europe
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
United Kingdom Edinburgh 4:26 22:02 17 h 36 min
Russia Moscow 3:44 21:17 17 h 33 min
Germany Berlin 4:43 21:33 16 h 49 min
Poland Warsaw 4:14 21:00 16 h 46 min
United Kingdom London 4:43 21:21 16 h 38 min
Ukraine Kyiv 4:46 21:12 16 h 26 min
France Paris 5:46 21:57 16 h 10 min
Austria Vienna 4:53 20:58 16 h 04 min
Hungary Budapest 4:46 20:44 15 h 58 min
Switzerland Zürich 5:29 21:25 15 h 56 min
Italy Rome 5:34 20:48 15 h 13 min
Spain Madrid 6:44 21:48 15 h 03 min
Portugal Lisbon 6:11 21:04 14 h 52 min
Greece Athens 6:02 20:50 14 h 48 min
Africa
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Egypt Cairo 4:54 18:59 14 h 04 min
Spain Tenerife 7:08 21:05 13 h 57 min
Senegal Dakar 6:41 19:41 12 h 59 min
Ethiopia Addis Ababa 6:07 18:46 12 h 38 min
Kenya Nairobi 6:32 18:35 12 h 02 min
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa 6:04 17:56 11 h 52 min
Tanzania Dar es Salaam 6:32 18:16 11 h 43 min
Angola Luanda 6:20 17:56 11 h 36 min
Saint Helena Jamestown 6:49 17:59 11 h 10 min
Madagascar Antananarivo 6:21 17:21 10 h 59 min
Namibia Windhoek 6:30 17:15 10 h 44 min
South Africa Johannesburg 6:54 17:24 10 h 29 min
South Africa Cape Town 7:51 17:44 9 h 53 min
Middle East
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Iran Tehran 5:48 20:23 14 h 34 min
Lebanon Beirut 5:27 19:52 14 h 24 min
Iraq Baghdad 4:53 19:14 14 h 21 min
Israel Jerusalem 5:33 19:47 14 h 13 min
Bahrain Manama 4:45 18:32 13 h 46 min
Qatar Doha 4:44 18:26 13 h 42 min
United Arab Emirates Dubai 5:29 19:11 13 h 42 min
Saudi Arabia Riyadh 5:04 18:44 13 h 39 min
Oman Muscat 5:19 18:55 13 h 35 min
Yemen Sana'a 5:33 18:35 13 h 02 min
Americas
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Canada Inuvik 24 h
United States Fairbanks 2:57 21.6. 00:47 21 h 49 min
Greenland Nuuk 2:53 21.6. 00:03 21 h 09 min
Canada Iqaluit 2:11 23:00 20 h 49 min
United States Anchorage 4:20 23:41 19 h 21 min
United States Kodiak 5:07 23:14 18 h 06 min
United States Sitka 4:06 22:00 17 h 54 min
United States Unalaska 6:34 23:41 17 h 06 min
Canada Edmonton 5:04 22:07 17 h 02 min
Canada Winnipeg 5:19 21:40 16 h 21 min
Canada Vancouver 5:06 21:21 16 h 14 min
United States Seattle 5:11 21:10 15 h 59 min
Canada Ottawa 5:14 20:54 15 h 40 min
Canada Toronto 5:35 21:02 15 h 26 min
United States New York 5:24 20:30 15 h 05 min
United States Washington, D.C. 5:42 20:36 14 h 53 min
United States Los Angeles 5:42 20:07 14 h 25 min
United States Miami 6:30 20:14 13 h 44 min
Cuba Havana 6:44 20:17 13 h 33 min
United States Honolulu 5:50 19:16 13 h 25 min
Mexico Mexico City 6:59 20:17 13 h 18 min
Nicaragua Managua 5:21 18:11 12 h 50 min
Colombia Bogotá 5:46 18:09 12 h 23 min
Ecuador Quito 6:12 18:19 12 h 06 min
Peru Lima 6:27 17:52 11 h 24 min
Bolivia La Paz 6:59 18:08 11 h 08 min
Brazil Rio de Janeiro 6:32 17:16 10 h 43 min
Brazil São Paulo 6:47 17:28 10 h 40 min
Brazil Porto Alegre 7:20 17:32 10 h 12 min
Chile Santiago 7:46 17:42 9 h 56 min
Argentina Buenos Aires 8:00 17:50 9 h 49 min
Argentina Ushuaia 9:58 17:11 7 h 12 min
Asia and Oceania
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Russia Provideniya 0:52 22:16 21 h 23 min
Russia Magadan 3:37 22:19 18 h 41 min
Russia Petropavlovsk 4:58 21:55 16 h 56 min
Russia Khabarovsk 4:57 21:04 16 h 07 min
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar 5:52 21:54 16 h 01 min
Russia Vladivostok 5:32 20:55 15 h 22 min
China Beijing 4:45 19:46 15 h 00 min
South Korea Seoul 5:11 19:56 14 h 46 min
Japan Tokyo 4:25 19:00 14 h 34 min
China Shanghai 4:50 19:01 14 h 10 min
China Lhasa 6:55 20:58 14 h 03 min
India Delhi 5:23 19:21 13 h 58 min
Nepal Kathmandu 5:08 19:02 13 h 53 min
Taiwan Taipei 5:04 18:46 13 h 41 min
Hong Kong Hong Kong 5:39 19:09 13 h 30 min
Philippines Manila 5:27 18:27 12 h 59 min
Thailand Bangkok 5:51 18:47 12 h 56 min
Singapore Singapore 7:00 19:12 12 h 11 min
Indonesia Jakarta 6:01 17:47 11 h 45 min
Australia Darwin 7:06 18:29 11 h 23 min
French Polynesia Papeete 6:27 17:32 11 h 04 min
Australia Sydney 6:59 16:53 9 h 53 min
New Zealand Auckland 7:33 17:11 9 h 37 min
Australia Melbourne 7:35 17:07 9 h 32 min
New Zealand Dunedin 8:19 16:59 8 h 39 min

Length of day increases from the equator towards the North Pole in the Northern Hemisphere in June (around the summer solstice there), but decreases towards the South Pole in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of the southern winter solstice.

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-04-17 10:26 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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