Friday June 21, 2019 Quietly Passed by

One of my favorite days of the year quietly slipped by and most people weren’t even aware of it. The date on the calendar varies by a few days from year to year, but this year it fell on June 21. What was special about June 21 and why do I like this day every year?

June 21 was the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere; the one with the most hours of sunshine. About six months earlier, we had the shortest day of the year. That was the winter solstice, which is officially the first day of winter. 

The solstices are the most noticeable in the northern hemisphere when you go farther north. Here in northwestern Montana, on the winter solstice, it doesn’t start getting light until after 8 am. It starts getting dark at about 4 pm. I am definitely a day person and tend to feel drowsy when it is dark.

Starting the day after the winter solstice, the days get a little longer, day by day, until the summer solstice, which was on the 21st. On that day, the length of the day was noticeably longer. It started getting light at 5 am and it was still light enough to see things outside at 10 pm. 

The days will now be getting a little shorter each day until the winter solstice in December. However, I welcome the additional daylight. It is also one reason that I prefer living as far north as I do. The length of the days is much more noticeable than in the south. At the equator, there is no difference at all and that could be boring, having all the days the same length. On the other hand, within 23.5 degrees from the geographical north pole, on June 21, the sun didn’t set. That is because of the 23.5-degree tilt of the earth and it is the reason that area is known as the ‘land of the midnight sun’.

  • Do you notice the lengthening of the hours of daylight around the first day of summer?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I usually don’t think about it
  • Do you like it when there are more hours of daylight in the day?

    • Yes
    • No
    • It makes no difference to me

What do you think?

12 points

Written by Rex Trulove

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