Today at 7:28 AM marks the official beginning of summer. Since I have been suffering through the sweltering North Carolina heat for a month now, I have already felt like summer is here, but it's nice to know it's official.
I began looking up the science and history behind the Summer Solstice and stumbled upon this National Geographic article. It turns out that while today is the longest day of the year, it's not necessarily the hottest. See below for details:
"The summer solstice is a result of the Earth's north-south axis being tilted 23.5 degrees relative to the sun. The tilt causes different amounts of sunlight to reach different regions of the planet."
"On the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives more sunlight
than on any other day of the year, but that doesn't mean the first day
of summer is also the hottest day of summer."
I also wondered how people around the world celebrate this event. According to the article,
Observers in the center of the standing stones can watch the summer solstice sun
rise over the Heel Stone, which stands just outside Stonehenge's stone
See a picture of the celebration at Stonehenge below. Happy Summer!