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Summer solstice

Topics covered:  Important Geophysical phenomena.

Summer solstice: 


June 21- this day is referred to as the summer solstice, the longest day of the summer season. It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. 

What causes this? 

Solstice means “sun stands still” in Latin. 

Solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun. 

At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that our world’s North Pole is leaning most toward the sun. 

  • As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23 1/2 degrees north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer named after the constellation Cancer the Crab. This is as far north as the sun ever gets. 


  1. All locations north of the equator have days longer than 12 hours at the June solstice. Meanwhile, all locations south of the equator have days shorter than 12 hours. 
  2. This day is characterised by a greater amount of energy received from the sun. According to NASA, the amount of incoming energy the Earth received from the sun on this day is 30 per cent higher at the North Pole than at the Equator. 

What is the winter solstice? 

21st December or the Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 

  • It is the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and is also known as the ‘first day of winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere as well as ‘Hiemal solstice or Hibernal solstice’. 
  • During this, countries in the Northern Hemisphere are farthest from the Sun and the Sun shines overhead on the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° south). 


Insta Curious: 

Do you know about Lahaina noon? Read Here



Prelims Link: 

  1. What is Solstice? 
  2. Differences between Summer and Winter Solstices. 
  3. Countries on Tropic of Cancer. 
  4. Tropic of Capricorn. 
  5. Perihelion vs Aphelion. 

Sources: Indian Express.