3 things you probably didn’t know about the longest day of the year

WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: People take part in the summer solstice dawn celebrations after druids, pagans and revellers gathered for the Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21, 2014 in Wiltshire, England. A sunny forecast brought thousands of revellers to the 5,000 year old stone circle in Wiltshire to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice dawn. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Getty Images)

Thursday, June 21st is considered to be the longest day of the year for those of us who live on the North side of the equator. It is what super smart scientists call, the Summer Solstice.

If you want to get technical, the solstice actually happens when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer (remember that from elementary school). This year, the precise moment that will happen is at 6:07am ET on June 21st. You’ll probably sleep right through it.

So, what are those burning questions you really need to know the answers to?

How many hours of daylight will I get?

That really depends on where you live. If you live in the southern states you will get about 14 hours of daylight. You get more the further north you go. If you happen to live near the arctic circle (someone there could be reading this, you never know), be ready for the start of 24 hours of sunlight.

Here’s a cool video that was taken by a resident of Alberta, Canada showing the dramatic arc of the sun from December to June.

What does Stonehenge have to do with the solstice?

The stone circle that makes up Stonehenge was built about 4500 years ago. We don’t know who built it, or why. But maybe it’s a coincidence that it perfectly lines up with the sunrise on the summer solstice and the sunset at winter solstice. Back in the day, you could have attended more than a few pagan rituals as druids worshiped the sun at Stonehenge, if you’re into that sort of thing. They still throw quite the party during the summer and winter solstice.

WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND – JUNE 21: People take part in the summer solstice dawn celebrations after druids, pagans and revellers gathered for the Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21, 2014 in Wiltshire, England. A sunny forecast brought thousands of revellers to the 5,000 year old stone circle in Wiltshire to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice dawn. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Getty Images)

I clicked on this cause I thought I would see a cool picture of the sun…

We know why you really clicked on this article. Here you go. Make sure you get outside and enjoy the longest day of 2018!

IN SPACE – FEBRUARY 15: In a screen grab taken from a handout timelapse sequence provided by NASA / SDO, a solar spot in the centre of the Sun is captured from which the first X-class flare was emitted in four years on February 14, 2011. The images taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft reveal the source of the strongest flare to have been released in four years by the Sun, leading to warnings that a resulting geo-magnetic storm may cause disruption to communications and electrical supplies once it reaches the earths magnetic field. (Image by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory via Getty Images)
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