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Summer Solstice Facts

Each year, people in the Northern Hemisphere eagerly await the arrival of the summer solstice. The solstice was a key cultural event in many ancient communities, but in modern times, it marks an opportunity to celebrate the arrival of summer as well as the longest day of daylight and the shortest hours of night. The summer solstice occurs as a result of the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis. According to Time and Date, as Earth orbits the sun over the course of each year, its axis always points in the same direction in space. The Northern Hemisphere angles toward the sun for half the year and away for the other half. When the North Pole is nearest to the sun, this is known as the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the solstices are reversed. The exact day that the solstices occur can vary by a day or two depending on the Earth’s rotation. For 2019, the summer solstice occurs on Friday, June 21 at 11:54 a.m. EST. Along the border of the United States and Canada, daylight will last approximately 15 hours.