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2013 Summer Solstice Fun Facts

SEPCO 6/20/13 9:30 AM

Sun SolsticeIt’s the summer solstice coming up this Friday and you know what that means right? It is the longest day of the year and the most amount of sunlight will be hitting the earth, making the solar power absorb the most energy than the rest of the year. Where else did you think I was going with that?

One thing most people don’t take into consideration is the sun hours in a day for solar. The sun rises at 7 am and sets at 8 pm where you live, so there should be 13 hours of sunlight right? Not really, but close. However, on the summer solstice, the maximum number of sun falls on us and provides a lot of power.

Here are some other great facts about the summer solstice.

  • Solstice is derived from the Latin words SOL meaning Sun and Sistere meaning to stand still.
  • The solstice will occur this Friday, June 21st at 5:04 Universal Time, or 11:04 AM for us on the East Coast.
  • The solstice dates vary from June 20th, 21st and 22nd. A June 22nd solstice will not occur till June 22, 2203. The last time there was a June 22nd solstice was in 1971.
  • Stonehenge was built around 3100 BCE. Some people believe it was built to help establish when the summer solstice occurred. Interestingly, the sun rises at a particular point on the horizon as viewed from the center of the stone circle on day of the June solstice.
  • Around the same time Stonehenge was being constructed in England, two great pyramids and then the Sphinx were built on Egyptian sands. If you stood at the Sphinx on the summer solstice and gazed toward the two pyramids, you would see the sun set exactly between them.
  • The solstice marks when the sun reaches its northernmost point for the year and has the longest sun hours of the year.
  • Look at your shadow around noon on the solstice; it’s your shortest noontime shadow of the year.

Well that’s about all I found. What other fun facts can you find about the solstice? Or how will you be celebrating it?