June 21 2022 – the solstice

This year, the June solstice will fall on 21 June.  As most individuals know, In the northern hemisphere, it’s the day of the year when there may be the most daylight and when the Sun is at its highest in the noon sky.

The origin of the phrase solstice is from two Latin phrases:  sol, which implies Sun, and sistere, to face nonetheless. On the days round  the solstice, the Sun stops getting increased, seems to face nonetheless at the identical peak for a number of days, after which will get decrease in the noon sky.

Solstice Sun El


Maximum peak, or elevation, of the Sun, measured in levels above the horizon.. The graph is for a location 50 levels latitude North, which is the identical latitude as the southern tip of England.  

The undeniable fact that the Sun’s elevation modifications steadily, round the solstice, means the quantity of daylight  modifications little or no from day after day.

Solstice SR and SS times

Table of dawn and sundown occasions for London (supply timeanddate.com  2021).


Precise definition of the solstice

Although the solstice is often to be June 21. There is a extra exact astronomical definition. The diagram above reveals the Earth’s orbit round the Sun. For readability the sizes of the Earth and Sun have been enormously exaggerated.



  • During June, marked A in the diagram, the Earth’s North Pole is tilted in direction of the Sun and the days are longer in the northern hemisphere.
  • During December, marked C in the diagram, the Earth’s South Pole is tilted in direction of the Sun and days are longer in the southern hemisphere.
  • At factors Band D, often known as the equinoxes, neither pole is tilted in direction of the Sun and the quantities of daylight in the northern and southern hemisphere are equal.

The exact astronomical definition of the June solstice (additionally known as the summer time solstice in the northern hemisphere) is the precise cut-off date when the North Pole is tilted furthest in direction of the Sun. The occasions for this occasion for the years 2021  to 2026 are given in the desk beneath – in UTC (generally recognized in the UK as GMT), in Tokyo time (which is 9 hours forward of UTC) and in Hawaiian time (which is 10 hours behind UTC).

Solstice times

As you’ll be able to see, the time of the solstice varies from year to year and place to position. It can fall on 20, 21 or 22 June, relying in your longitude (and thus your time zone).

Importance of the solstice to early man

The solstice was of nice significance to early man, and lots of prehistoric websites seem to have been constructed to have a good time it. The most well-known of those is Stonehenge, which is situated in Wiltshire, England. It is a set of concentric stone circles constructed between 4000 and 5000 years in the past. It was an incredible feat of development for stone age man. The stone circle is over 30 metres in diameter. The largest stones are greater than 9 metres tall, weigh over 25 tonnes and have been hauled over 30 km to the website. It is reckoned that the smaller stones have been moved from western Wales, a distance of 225 km (Jarus 2014).


Image from Wikimedia commons 

At the centre of Stonehenge is a horseshoe association of 5 units of arches known as triliths, every containing three stones.  The open facet of the horseshoe factors north east in direction of a big stone 80 metres away from the primary circle, often known as  the ‘Heel Stone’.



Image from Wikimedia commons

The monument is organized in such a way that, for a number of days both facet of the June solstice and solely at these dates, somebody standing in the centre of the horse shoe and dealing with North East will see the Sun rise over the Heel stone.

Heel Stone Sunrise

How dawn at the summer time solstice at Stonehenge would have sorted the monument’s development.

It is superb that prehistoric man constructed such a big monument to line up with the June solstice. But early man, with out synthetic mild and central heating, was way more in tune with the pure setting than we’re immediately. The solstice would have been an necessary occasion for a individuals residing  with solely pure daylight.

The Solstice immediately

The solstice continues to be celebrated at Stonehenge immediately. Modern teams with historic origins, corresponding to Druids and Pagans, who revere the pure world greater than many fashionable people, journey to Stonehenge to look at the Sun rise at the solstice every year.

In the Nineteen Seventies as a younger little one I visited Stonehenge with my dad and mom and was capable of stroll proper as much as the stones. Nowadays, to forestall injury to such an necessary  monument,  entry is extra managed (and costlier!) and visits should be booked upfront. The Stone Circle Experience  which permits, guests to spend 45 minutes  inside the stones prices £53 (equal to $68 at the present change charge).

The one exception to that is for the solstice the place, in line with their web site, English Heritage who handle the website are planning to permit free however rigorously managed entry for the day of the summer time solstice


Solstice EH

Image credit score English Heritage


To these of you who dwell in the southern hemisphere the June solstice is in fact the  winter solstice, when the noon Sun is at its lowest in the sky. After the solstice the days begin getting steadily longer and the nights steadily shorter, though the change doesn’t actually grow to be noticeable till July.

Also, It isn’t true that for the whole northern hemisphere the noon Sun is at its highest in the sky on the solstice.  This is just true for location north of the  Tropic of Cancer, (latitude 23.5 levels -shown as the red line beneath). At low latitudes between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer the Sun is immediately overhead at noon on two dates both facet of the solstice. For instance, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which lies 18.5 levels north of the equator, the Sun is overhead at noon on May 13 and July 30.


Tropic of cancer


Jarus, O (2014) Stonehenge: Facts & Theories About Mysterious Monument, Available at: http://www.livescience.com/22427-stonehenge-facts.html(Accessed: 1 June 2022).

Time and Date (2021 London, ENG, United Kingdom — dawn, sundown, and daylength, June 2018, Available at: http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/london(Accessed: 2 June 2022).

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