Word of the Day: Solstice

sol·stice

noun \ˈsäl-stəs, ˈsōl-, ˈsl-\

: one of the two times during the year when the sun is farthest north or south of the equator

Full Definition of SOLSTICE

1:  either of the two points on the ecliptic at which its distance from the celestial equator is greatest and which is reached by the sun each year about June 22 and December 22
2:  the time of the sun’s passing a solstice which occurs about June 22 to begin summer in the northern hemisphere and about December 22 to begin winter in the northern hemisphere

Origin of SOLSTICE

Middle English, from Latin solstitium, from sol sun + -stit-, -stes standing; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at solar, stand

First Known Use: 13th century

solstice

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of the two moments in the year when the Sun’s apparent path is farthest north or south from Earth’s Equator; also, either of the two points along the ecliptic that the Sun passes through at these times. In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice occurs on June 21 or 22; the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed. See also equinox.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solstice

summer solstice

summer solstice, the two moments during the year when the path of the Sun in the sky is farthest north in the Northern Hemisphere (June 20 or 21) or farthest south in the Southern Hemisphere (December 21 or 22).

At the summer solstice, the Sun travels the longest path through the sky, and that day therefore has the most daylight. When the summer solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole is tilted about 23.4° (23°27´) toward the Sun. Because the Sun’s rays are shifted northward from the Equator by the same amount, the vertical noon rays are directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23°27´ N). Six months later, the South Pole is inclined about 23.4° toward the Sun. On this day of the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun’s vertical overhead rays progress to their southernmost position, the Tropic of Capricorn (23°27´ S).

According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the summer solstice also marks the beginning of summer, which lasts until the autumnal equinox (September 22 or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, or March 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere). The day has also been celebrated in many cultures. For example, in Scandinavia, the holiday of Midsummer’s Eve is observed on a weekend near the time of the solstice.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573384/summer-solstice

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