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Each day for six months after the winter solstice, the Sun rises a bit higher in the sky. It reaches the maximum height at the summer solstice, the longest day. Evidence of rituals and festivals at the times of the solstices goes back thousands of years.

Summer Solstice - St John's Day


Mona Evans
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Between Solstices was taken by György Sopony who captured the prize of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 at Greenwich Observatory.

Two of the key milestones in our trip around the Sun each year are the summer and winter solstices. These mark the days with the most hours of daylight and least hours of daylight, respectively. The above photo shows the path of the Sun at both solstices - plus one in between the solstices!


Mona Evans
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The Summer Solstice is a day, but for astronomers, it's also a time. The 2022 June solstice occurred at 9:13 a.m. CUT. (Coordinated Universal Time is the same as Greenwich Mean Time.) This is when the Sun crossed the Tropic of Cancer.

And I should note that it's only northern summer solstice. The southern hemisphere had its winter solstice. Northern winter solstice occurs when the Sun crosses the Tropic of Cancer.

PS To be precise, the Sun, of course, isn't actually doing the moving. It's the Earth.


Mona Evans
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Bonfires are popular parts of the summer solstice celebrations in Norway. The Sun doesn't set until quite late - even in Oslo in the South, sunset is about 11.30. In the north, it doesn't set at all during part of the year.

The most dramatic bonfire is in the lovely art deco town of Ålesund where a massive - and I do mean MASSIVE - bonfire is constructed on an island. It's called the Slinningsbålet.

Here is a little video of the Slinningsbålet 2010.

[Credit: Business Insider]


Mona Evans
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The summer solstice and St John's Day isn't a big celebration in the USA and the United Kingdom. But not so in Quebec where Saint Jean-Baptiste day is a big deal. Here is a photo of Saint Jean-Baptiste day in Montreal.


Mona Evans
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