What the Summer Solstice Means in San Diego

If today ends up feeling like a long day at work, maybe it’s because today is the longest day of the year.  It is the first day of summer, officially known as the summer solstice.

Astronomically that means that’s when the Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the North Pole is angled closest to the sun. The exact moment that happened was at 3:07am, so in case you wanted to celebrate at the moment, you missed it.

According to Space.com, the angle relative to Earth's equator changes so gradually close to the solstice that, without instruments, the shift is difficult to perceive for about 10 days. This is the origin of the word solstice, which means "solar standstill."

And actually, this slow shift means that today June 21 is only about 1 second longer than yesterday, June 20, at mid-northern latitudes.

So while this may be the day with the most daylight of the year, don’t plan an extra inning softball game tonight.  In our area though we are said to have 14 to 14-and- a-half hours of daylight this time of year.

And of course, from a cultural standpoint, the summer solstice is a day known for various celebrations around the world, many of which have to do with fertility.

Not sure what that means for your evening hours.  But at least it’s a day that marks the official start of the summer season even in a place like San Diego where summer is almost every day.

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