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Summer solstice approaches: First day of summer is Wednesday

Around this date, the days are the longest of the year, and the length of the night the shortest. (Photo credit: Pixabay)

By the time you wake up on Wednesday, summer will already be here.

Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute point out that at 12:24 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 the Sun will be at its most northern point in the sky for the year. This is the summer solstice and marks the first moment of summer.

What is the astronomical significance of this event?

Around this date, the days are the longest of the year, and the length of the night the shortest.

After the summer solstice, the Sun begins its return to the south. The days will gradually shorten and the Sun will appear lower in the sky at noon.

It will rise further to the south along the eastern horizon each morning and set farther to the south in the west. This continues through the autumn equinox at 4:02 p.m. on September 22.

Following that date, the Sun continues its southward journey until on the winter solstice (11:28 a.m. December 21), when the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky.


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