Summer solstice 2018: The longest day in pictures

Summer solstice 2018: The longest day in pictures

Kerry Wise
June 21, 2018

The next winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:23 p.m. EST.

From Stonehenge's circle of standing stones, the sun will rise directly over an ancient avenue leading away to the northeast on the solstice.

Last year, Google welcomed the start of the summer solstice by presenting an animated sequence that featured a mouse having to use sunglasses in order to read a book.

A solstice is an astronomical event during which the sun is at its greatest northerly or southerly distance from the equator.

The date varies between June 20 and 22, depending on the year and local time zone. Six months from now the sun will reach its southern extreme and pass overhead for people on the Tropic of Capricorn, and northerners will experience their shortest days of the year, at the winter solstice.

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The solstice was also celebrated at Avebury Neolithic henge monument in Wiltshire, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Many European countries have a bonfire while maypole dancing is also a popular ritual to mark the summer solstice.

Crowds cheered and raised mobile phones for images as the rays flooded through the monument and announced the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Technically speaking, it's when the northern hemisphere of the Earth is most inclined towards the sun, and that's why we get the most daylight. However, shortly after that, the Earth will be the closest it gets to the sun on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 12:19 a.m.

The sun will rise at 4.43am tomorrow and set at 9.21 again - albeit three seconds earlier than it will tonight.