The official start of summer is a short few weeks away. It’s certainly a stressful time of year — suddenly, the kids are home asking you a million questions while you’re trying to get your work done — but there’s little to hate about long, hot days and popsicles. But before the long road trips or the weekends at the lake, first up is the Summer Solstice, the official start of summer. Here’s everything you need to know including when the Summer Solstice is and how you can observe your day, if that’s your sort of thing.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The first official day of summer is actually not a set date on the calendar. That’s why it tends to fluctuate between a couple of dates in June, typically between June 20 and June 22. According to definitions of the summer solstice, the first day of summer happens when the Sun travels the longest through the sky, meaning there’s a day or two where we have more daylight than any other day of the year.
That date is what marks the definition of summer, according to astronomists. We’ll be in the throes of summer until late September when we experience the autumnal equinox. At that time, the sun will shine directly on the equator which means both the southern and northern hemispheres get the same amount of sun rays – and with it, more even temperatures than the hot summer or cold winters.
When is the Summer Solstice?
For 2022, the official start of summer and the Summer Solstice will arrive on Tuesday, June 21, at 5:14 am EDT, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
How do you observe the Summer Solstice?
The Summer Solstice is more than just a date on the calendar, it’s something that can be seen in nature as well. According to EarthSky, people who live in the Northern Hemisphere can see some of the subtle signs of the Summer Solstice if they know where to look.
“You might notice the early dawns and late sunsets, and the high arc of the sun across the sky each day,” the publication shares. “You might see how high the sun appears in the sky at local noon. And also be sure to look at your noontime shadow. Around the time of the solstice, it’s your shortest noontime shadow of the year.”