Summer solstice explained: Why is June 21 longest day of the year?

On summer solstice, the northern hemisphere receives most daylight from the Sun

By   |  Published: 21st Jun 2021  6:46 pm
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Hyderabad: June 21 is the longest day of the year for those who reside north of the equator. It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or more specifically right over 23.5 degree north latitude. And this event is known as the summer solstice. On this day, the northern hemisphere receives most daylight from the Sun.

Why does this happen?

Due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis, the North Pole is shifted almost directly towards the sun, hence the long hours of daylight. Thus the northern part of the Earth witnesses direct sun light for longer time. And the sun never sets on the Arctic region on this day, because it is the extreme North of the Earth. According to NASA, the amount of incoming energy the Earth receives from the sun on this day is 30% higher at the North Pole than at the Equator.

In the northern hemisphere, many cultures celebrate this day as the first day of Summer. On the summer solstice, the sun rises directly above the Heel Stone of the prehistoric Stonehenge in England. “And this year also, despite advice from the officials to avoid travel during the Covid pandemic, hundreds of people attended the summer solstice at Stonehenge,” the BBC reported.

In India, sunrise was at 5:24 am and sunset would be at 7:22 pm at New Delhi, with the length of the day being 13 hours and 58 minutes. When it comes to Mumbai and Chennai, the day lengths are 13 hours 16 minutes and 12 hours 53 minutes respectively, slightly shorter when compared to Delhi. This is because the cities are closer to the equator.


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