Today is the longest day of the year, the summer solstice 2017

Summer Solstice 2017

Possibly many of you think that my head has gone a bit if I tell you that summer has started today, but the reality and the plain truth is that it is so, at least officially.

Although we have been suffering from a hell of a heat for weeks, especially in the southern half of the peninsula (I am writing to you from Murcia, so you can imagine), Today is the longest day of the year and therefore the shortest night; is he Summer Solstice, the point that marks the entrance of this season of the year. And by the time you are reading this, summer will have already started.

What does the summer solstice 2017 mean?

You are right. As I was commenting at the beginning of this post, the summer solstice occurred today, Wednesday, June 21 at 6:24 in the morning (Peninsular time and one hour less in the Canary Islands), according to the calculations made by the National Astronomical Observatory. And this means that today is a great day because it is the day with the most hours of light of the year, it is the longest day, and the shortest night, so you should have already thought about how to take advantage of so many hours of light, in addition to endure the hours of work that touch. But what is the summer solstice really?

The word “solstice” derives from the Latin “sol” (Sun) and “sistere” (to remain still), and refers to the “immobile position of the Sun”. Every year on this date the ecliptic of the king star marks its northernmost point, staying at the same height at noon for several days, hence it is called "solstice". But today it will be when the Sun marks its highest point in the sky, and this implies that the shadow of any object will have the null longitudinal component in that line, come on, looking for shade to be cool is going to be quite complicated today at noon.

Thus, the summer solstice marks the beginning of a new season, summer, which is characterized by being the hottest of the year, although only in the northern hemisphere of the planet Earth then, as we move away from the equator towards the south of the globe, there begins a cold phase. Therefore, in the southern hemisphere the “winter solstice” takes place, and not the summer one.

By the way, summer is also the longest season of the year. This is because in these days the aphelion day occurs, that is, the day in which the planet Earth and the Sun are further away from each other, which is why the Earth moves at a faster rate. slow through its orbit. Come on, like us, the heat affects him and "it is difficult" for him to start walking.

A day of celebrations

Traditionally, the summer solstice has always been a cause for celebration, and human communities have carried out numerous festivals and rituals, such as the traditional Midsummer that we will celebrate in a few days and that has fire and bonfires as the main protagonists.

Bonfires of San Juan in Playa de San Juan, Alicante

The summer solstice is also a time traditionally associated with the union of the human being with nature of which it is part, It is the day of fertility, of the harvest. Since the Stone Age rituals have been celebrated in this regard. A good example of this is Stonehenge, in England, a place where celebratory rituals still take place today.

Very hot heat

And just in case you are thinking that at first I have complained too much and that it is not that hot either, you should know that this year a somewhat hotter than usual summer is expected, especially in the inland areas of the peninsula, where the temperature could be between 1,5 and 2 degrees higher than average. This is due to the fact that the areas of the interior of the peninsula are far from the sea breeze, a factor that always tends to soften temperatures; Furthermore, in Spain, the strip of mountain ranges along the coast further accentuate this isolation.


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