As the weather warms up, it’s time to prepare for summer, and one of the key events in the summer months is the summer solstice.
The summer solstice comes around each and every year, but quite often goes unnoticed. Here’s what it’s all about and when you can catch it this year.
What is the summer solstice?
The summer and winter equinoxes and solstices are used to track the change in seasons in a calendar year.
The dates are based on the tilt of the Earth as it passes around the Sun, and they take place at opposite times in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
According to Brittanica, the summer solstice marks the time of the year when the Sun is positioned at its farthest northern or southern points from Earth during the year.
For us in Australia, this takes place in December during the summer months, when the Earth’s tilt places us closest to the Sun.
The summer solstice is commonly thought of as the “longest” day of the year. This is partly correct, although there are some misconceptions to clear up here.
While there won’t be any more minutes added to the 24 hours that make up a typical day, the December solstice does mark the period we have the most amount of daylight, thus it feels like one of the longest days.
It will also feel particularly long for residents in certain Australian states that observe daylight saving time.
When is the summer solstice in Australia?
The summer solstice usually occurs on December 22, but can happen anytime between December 21-23.
This year, it will take place on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
On this year’s solstice, we’ll see approximately 14 hours and 24 minutes of daylight. The Sun is expected to rise at 5:41 am and set at 8:06 pm in Sydney, but exact timings for each city can be found over on Timeanddate.com.
This means December 22 has 4 hours and 31 minutes of extra daylight compared to the winter solstice, aka the shortest day of the year, in June.
Not much really happens to commemorate the summer solstice, but given it will undoubtedly be warm, it makes it the perfect time to soak up the extra daylight hours outside.