Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice Monday

The Summer Solstice, or the "official" start of Summer, is this morning at 7:28 a.m. Eastern. This is when, from our perspective on Earth, the axial tilt of the Earth is nearest the Sun.
The Sun appears to be at its "highest" above us as well, and as a result, today is our longest day of the year. In Richmond, our day length is 14 hours 45 minutes and 29 seconds from sunrise to sunset. The seasons are a result of the Earth's orbit around the Sun through the year, with the Earth's axial tilt being more inclined toward or away from the Sun's most direct rays at different times around the orbit (seasons are NOT the result of the Earth being closer to or farther away from the Sun in its orbit). This means while the Northern Hemisphere is most inclined toward the Sun (like us now!), the Southern Hemisphere is inclined away from the Sun's most direct solar rays. It is their Winter Solstice Down Under today.

(Northern Hemisphere Summer is the far left Earth in this diagram)

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