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The Summer Solstice
The Summer Solstice is the first day of the Season of Summer. On June 21 the Sun is farthest north and the length of time between sunrise and sunset in the northern hemisphere is the longest of the year.
The Sun has been climbing in the sky and on this day it stops (solstice means "standing still sun"). The hours of sunlight have been getting longer and longer each day, but after today they will start getting shorter.
As the Earth circles around the Sun, it leans about 23° on its axis like a spinning top frozen in an off-kilter position. At this time, the entire Arctic area is continually exposed to sunlight even though the Earth is rotating.
This day is also the first day of the Season of Winter in the southern hemisphere, and there, the length of time between sunrise and sunset is the shortest of the year. While the Arctic has sunlight, Antarctica is in the dark.
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Sky/Seasons
Links: Arctic, Sunrise & Sunset
Guide to Arctic Sunrise & Sunset
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on the page and a new window will open with a definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Dictionary at Word Central.