Summer Solstice

Learn About Summer Solstice

When is the first day of summer this year?

The first day of summer this year is June 20. This is great news for solar panel owners, because people tend to use more energy in the summer than any other season. Having more direct sunlight benefits solar panel owners to have left over energy to be saved for the winter. The first day of summer this year also marks the summer solstice.

What does summer solstice mean?

Summer Solstice means the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and it happens to be on June 20 this year. We can experience about 12 hours of sunlight throughout the day, depending on one’s location. In Norwalk, CT we experienced about 14-15 hours of daylight. The sun rose at about 5:21AM and sunset was at around 8:29PM.

Why does a summer solstice happen?

The summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly at 23.5◦ north latitude. Between March and September, the northern hemisphere gets the most exposure to the sun. When the Northern Hemisphere reaches its “peak” sunlight it is called the summer solstice. For Southern Hemisphere it is different because their summer starts in December, and so they don’t experience that “peak” until we are in winter.

What was so different about this year’s summer solstice?

This year’s summer solstice included a full moon after the sun left. A full moon after a summer solstice has not happened in over 48 years. This full moon was called “Strawberry moon” which was named because of the season when strawberries are picked. The next time this will happen is in about 46 years and so June 20, 2016 was a very special day for all northerners.