Tonight, less than an hour before midnight, if you’re awake, take a moment to welcome in summer.
At 11:09 p.m., the Earth’s axis will reach its most extreme tilt toward the sun – 23.5 degrees, otherwise known as the summer Solstice.
Keen observers may have noticed in the past few days that the sun has lingered in the sky later and later. In fact, although the Solstice is the “longest day of the year,” we have had the same amount of sunlight – 14 hours and 56 minutes – since June 16 according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.
It won’t be until June 26 that we begin to see less sunlight.
We’ll lose a minute or two of sunlight every day through the end of July, then about two or three minutes a day until the end of November.
(The irregularities due to Earth’s precession and elliptical orbit)
Then, as we approach the Winter Equinox (Dec. 21), the loss slows to about a minute a day until Dec. 18 when, for five days, we will have just 9 hours and 24 minutes of sunlight.
So enjoy the lingering sun while you can:
- Or just bring a picnic to