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Summer Solstice Cardinal Sings on the First Evening of Summer 2016 During Rise of the Strawberry Moon

Mon June 20 2016 10:49 pm
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Cardinal singing on the first evening of summer — marking the summer solstice.

The summer solstice is the first day of the year with the longest daylight — a day that falls on June 20, 21. In 2016 the summer solstice officially arrives at 5:34 p.m. CDT on Monday, June 20. Actually, June 21 is the first full day of summer when we receive the most sunlight, but it is not the hottest day of the year.

The oceans tend to retain their temperature, and heat up and cool down more slowly than air. By June 21 oceans are still gaining heat from the increasing longer daylight hours of Spring. The heat delay is about a 30-45 days after June 20-21. Similarly, in December the water still holds warmth from the summer, and the coldest days are about 30-45 days after December 20-21.

This year, summer solstice happens to coincide with June’s Full Moon, which is known as the Strawberry Moon. The last time this happened was 1967, and the next time it will happen is 2062.

The name “Summer Solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still”. Actually the solstice happens because the sun’s position relative to earth stops heading north at the Tropic of Cancer and then returns back southwards. The change occurs because of the tilt of the earth, and on the Summer Solstice, the northern hemisphere is maximally tilted toward the sun.

The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude on the Earth where the sun can appear directly overhead. The angle of sun over the Northern Tropic, which is 23.43715° north of the equator in 2016, marks the day at which the Sun appears directly overhead at its Summer seasonal culmination. Its position does not appear any further north on this day. The most southern part of Key West, Florida is just north of the Northern Tropic at about 24.544°. All of Hawaii is south of the Northern Tropic.

In the northern hemisphere this also means the daylight hours also are about to begin getting shorter.

By the way, the daylight shortening is really not noticeable until about July 7.

On June 25 we only lose about one minute of daylight compared to June 20, and on June 30 we have only lost about two minutes from June 20.

By July 6 we will have lost about 10 minutes of daylight, and starting July 7 we start losing at least one or two minutes per day.

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