Summer Has Officially Begun!

If this Wednesday feels especially long, it’s not just you. Today, June 21, 2017, is actually the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, and the day of the summer solstice. That seems like a lot to take place on just one day!

The date of the summer solstice is based on the planet’s rotational axis. The tilt of the earth’s axis is most aligned with the sun today, providing us with the most daylight of the year. In fact, everywhere north of the equator will receive at least twelve hours of sunlight. In the middle of the day, at high noon, the sun will be directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer. The sun is expected to set tonight at a late 8:54 p.m.

The solstice usually falls anywhere on the calendar from June 20-22. On the day that the summer solstice is occurring here in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is occurring in the southern hemisphere at the exact same time. The days will begin to get shorter for us after the summer solstice, and we will soon begin preparing for the next few months, as we fast approach the winter solstice in December. Enjoy the day and try to do something fun outside to make the most out of the longest day of the year.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Gatlinburg Daily Post Staff Writer