Did you know that the first day of Summer, June 21, is actually the longest day of the year? It is actually a cosmic event called summer solstice!
The summer solstice’s exact moment is when the sun sits directly over the Tropic of Cancer (the 23.5° north latitude mark). This will take place at 6:07 a.m. ET/3:07 a.m. PT.
During the summer solstice, “the sun shines directly on the Northern Hemisphere and indirectly on the Southern Hemisphere,” NASA explains. Thus, anywhere north of the equator gets a peak amount of daylight. And contrary to what some may think, the Earth is actually furthest from the sun in its orbit during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season.
June 21 marks the 2018 winter solstice for people south of the equator, so people in Australia will experience the shortest day of the year and the start of winter.