Here's What You Need To Know About Summer Solstice. And Why It Occurs

Summer Solstice is an astronomical alignment that signifies the transition of the season, and thus, denotes the onset of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

It is a natural phenomenon when the path of the Sun in the sky is farthest north in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs either June 20 or June 21, but in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs in December.

During the summer solstice, the Sun travels the longest path through the sky, spreading a vast daylight to the earth, and so, we have the longest day of the year. 

Summer Solstice June 2022

According to Britannica, when the summer solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole is tilted about 23.4° toward the Sun. 

The Sun’s rays are shifted northward from the Equator by the same amount, and the vertical noon rays are directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23°27´ N). Six months later (December 20 or 21), the South Pole is inclined about 23.4° toward the Sun. 

What is Hemisphere

The Earth is divided into two halves or hemispheres, a term derived from the Ancient Greece, and translates to "half of a sphere." 

And so the globe is divided into Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which are separated by the Equator, or the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, which are separated by the Prime Meridian.

The Southern Hemisphere is half of the Earth south of the Equator, and it contains at least part of five continents, four oceans, and several islands. 

Territories in the Northern Hemisphere are most of Europe, North America, Africa, and some part of Asia. Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, among others are located in the Northern Hemisphere,

While the Southern Hemisphere covers territories located in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, South America, and some part  of Asia. Indonesia and East Timor are part of the Southern Hemisphere. 

However, only Australia and Antarctica are completely within the Southern Hemisphere.  Source: World Atlas

What are solstices?

Solstices are different from equinoxes. Solstices occur because Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted about 23.4 degrees relative to Earth's orbit around the sun. This tilt drives our planet's seasons, as the Northern and Southern Hemispheres get unequal amounts of sunlight over the course of a year. 

From March to September, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the sun, driving its spring and summer. From September to March, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away, hence the autumn and winter season. 

However, seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. And so June in Australia is winter while December is summer. 

The summer solstice in Australia and other countries within the Southern Hemisphere will occur on December 21, 2022. Source: The National Geographic

Why the Philippines does not have four seasons?

According to an article written by Pecier Decierdo in The Manila Standard, How Seasons Work in the Philippines, technically, the Philippines does not have specific seasons like summer, fall, winter, and spring, because the country is located in the tropical zone, so the seasons here are not defined either by the length of daylight or the intensity of sunlight. 

Technically speaking, the season in the Philippines is defined by the amount of rainfall, that's why we only have the dry season and the rainy season. The term summer season in the Philippines is just a metaphor.

In the temperate zone, the summer season is defined as the time of the year when daytime is significantly longer than night time, making their temperature higher than at any time of the year.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared March 22, 2022, as the start of the dry season in the Philippines, and the rainy season might start in the middle of this month (June) depending on the amount of rainfall. 

But yeah, the Philippines is located in the Northern Hemisphere and so we experienced the summer solstice. 

Today, June 21, 2022, the sun rises at 5:28 in the morning and will set at 6:28 in the raw evening, with a total of 13 hours daytime, which is longer than usual. 

Happy Summer Solstice! ☀️⛱️

Read Related post: What You Need To Know About the Autumn Equinox

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