Summer solstice | Royal Museums Greenwich

when is the summer solstice in 2022?

In 2022, the summer solstice will occur on Tuesday, June 21 at 10:13 a.m. m. bst.

what is the summer solstice?

The summer solsticeoccurs in June in the northern hemisphere and marks midsummer: the ‘longest day’ and ‘shortest night’ of the year.

On this day, the number of daylight hours is maximum, while the number of night hours is minimum.

however, although most people consider the summer solstice to be a day, it is actually an exact moment in time that falls on that day. this time comes when whatever hemisphere you are in is tilted more toward the sun.

what is a solstice? the astronomical definition

Our earth rotates on its axis once a day, producing the cycle of day and night.

at the same time, the earth moves around the sun in its orbit over the course of a year.

However, the earth’s axis of rotation is not aligned with the axis of motion around the sun. instead, it is slightly tilted at 23.44°.1

This tilt means that for half the year the north side of the earth is tilted slightly toward the sun and the south side is tilted away. during the other half of the year the opposite happens.

At the exact moment the Northern Hemisphere is most tilted toward the Sun, the Northern Hemisphere experiences its summer solstice. the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, has its winter solstice.

about six months later, the northern hemisphere has its winter solstice while the southern hemisphere is at its summer solstice.

These key points of the year, along with the equinoxes, help determine the seasons on earth.

what is the winter solstice?

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The winter solstice occurs in December in the northern hemisphere and marks midwinter: the shortest day and the longest night. learn more about the winter solstice.

when is the winter solstice 2022?

In 2022 the winter solstice will occur on December 21.

when do the solstices occur?

The times when the sun is furthest from the celestial equator are called the summer and winter solstices. these occur in midsummer and midwinter.

The world ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin solstitium which means ‘the sun stands still’, because the apparent movement of the sun’s path north or south stops before changing direction.




all times are utc (gmt)

why do people celebrate the solstice at stonehenge?

Ever since humans began using the sun as a timekeeper, particularly when it came to the cycle in agriculture, the summer solstice has been marked with varying degrees of importance.

Perhaps most famously, the ancient monument Stonehenge has for some time been the center of a ritual celebration. this stems from the fact that the stones are aligned to frame the solstice sunrise, perhaps suggesting a connection to the day and as a celebration of the sun. however, it is unclear whether marking the summer solstice was actually its purpose. the stones also mark the position of the setting sun on the winter solstice and thus may indicate a place to call for the return of the summer months.

In any case, many modern religions gather at the site to mark the occasion: it is also one of the rare occasions when visitors can walk right up to the stones themselves.

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In other parts of the world, celebrations range from the biannual appearance of the shadow of the Feathered Serpent at the Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico to a variety of flower-themed events in countries such as Sweden and Latvia.

In the southern hemisphere, where the summer solstice occurs in December, the day is strongly associated with Christmas, as it was once the day of its celebration until various changes in the calendar changed the dates.


when is the vernal equinox?

The vernal equinox occurs in March. in 2022 it will take place on March 20 at 15:33 GMT.

what is an equinox?

At two times of the year, the sun will illuminate the northern and southern hemispheres equally. these are known as the equinoxes: the autumnal equinox and the vernal or spring equinox. it is the moment in which the plane of the terrestrial equator passes through the center of the solar disk, or the moment in which the sun passes through the celestial equator. on these dates there are approximately the same hours of light and darkness.

the ecliptic: the plane in which the earth and most of the other planets orbit the sun for a year

celestial equator: an imaginary projection of the equator on the sky

what is the autumnal equinox?

The autumnal equinox occurs in September, and in the northern hemisphere this date marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

find out more about the autumnal equinox

In 2022, the autumnal equinox will occur on September 23 at 2:03 AM. m. bst.

when do the equinoxes occur?

The following table shows the dates and times of the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes:


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spring equinox

autumn equinox


March 20, 15:33

September 23, 01:03

all times are utc (gmt)

where does the word ‘equinox’ come from?

The word equinox comes from the Latin aequinoctium which means ‘equal night’.

why don’t the solstices and equinoxes occur on the same days every year?

Earth takes about 365¼ days to go around the sun once. that’s why we have a leap year every four years to add one more day to our calendar.

for the same reason, the precise time of the equinoxes is not the same every year. they will generally occur about six hours later each year, with a jump of one day (backward) on leap years.

what is the difference between the summer solstice and the summer solstice?

The day of the summer solstice occurs annually on June 24 and is one of the four quarters of the UK legal calendar. The other quarter days are Lady’s Day (March 25), Michaelmas (September 29), and Christmas (December 25).

why is the summer solstice not the middle of summer?

The tilt of the earth produces the seasons, including the changes in weather associated with them. when the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, it receives more direct sunlight and for a longer part of the day, so the temperature rises. Similarly, in winter, the reduction in hours of sunlight and a greater angle of observation of the sun means that the air remains colder.

However, just like the air in your home, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the oceans take time to warm up. this means that even though the solstice marks the longest or shortest days (and the most direct or indirect sunlight), there is a considerable delay between that and the peak of hot or cold weather. as a result, the meteorological (weather-based) summer begins in early June and ends on the last day of August. astronomical summer can start at the solstice or, using day lengths as a guide, center around the solstice, depending on the situation.

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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