The Summer Solstice


In 2016 the summer solstice is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere on Monday, June 20. It is exact when the Sun enters Cancer on Sunday, June 20, at 3:34pm PDT (22:34 UT).

You know it's summer because the Sun reaches its farthest point north for the year. It is at its highest in the sky at local noon and the solstice shadows are very short. Click Shadows Vanish in India to see how latitude affects these shadows (scroll half way down the link).

Why are there 5 longest days?!?!

The higher the Sun rises in the heavens the more distance it has to travel from one horizon to the other and hence, the longer daylight. This is the longest day of the year, or so they say! Hmmm ... In 2016, in San Francisco there are 5 longest days each with 14 hours and 47 minutes. How many are there in your area? Check it out for yourself ... Sun Data /One Year Table

Why are there 5 longest days?!?! This occurs because the declination of the Sun changes or varies only slightly during the solstices. The analemma, an unsymmetrical figure-8 shape of the Sun’s daily position at the same time, illustrates this concept with its flattening at both ends.

The length of daylight (as measured in minutes) is pretty much the same for several days or more, both at the summer and also the winter solstice. If you were to do the calculations down to the exact second of time, then the longest amount of daylight would coincide with the time of the summer solstice. Thank-you James Davis and Joe Rao / Skywatching Columnist for these valued insights.

If you're curious about analemmas, click the following links!

Why Our Analemma Looks like a Figure 8
Interesting and Complex
Analemmas on Other Planets
Scroll to bottom of the page.


The Sun's Seasonal Path

Image: TheSky Astronomy Software

The Sun's path is shown after sunrise during the solstices and equinoxes. When the solstice Sun appears farthest north, it marks the beginning of summer. After the summer solstice the Sun begins its journey southward and the days start getting shorter.

High Sun ~ Low Moon

When the solstice Sun swings high, the Moon around the solstice swings low to the south. Compare the summer solstice paths of the Sun and Moon.

In 2005 and 2006 we had two extreme low "solstice" Moons at declinations of –27 to –28°+. These extreme southern positions were due to the lunar standstill season that occurs every 18.6–19 years. See Moon Swings ~ Highs and Lows to learn more.

In Britain this is traditionally known as "midsummer." In the Southern Hemisphere the Sun is at its lowest, casting long shadows and it is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This is the darkest day of the year for the South Pole, which has already had three months without the Sun and expects three more! This is the brightest day at the North Pole with the Sun at its highest all day long! This land of the "Midnight Sun" is in full sunlight (except for clouds) during the entire summer and this solstice marks high noon in its 6-month day! These different seasons are the result of Earth's tilt, together with its orbit around the Sun.

Here are a few more solstice goodies from Bob Berman at Astronomy Magazine.

The word solstice comes from the two Latin words "sun" and "stoppage." Makes sense: The Sun stops moving north that day.

The June solstice Sun hovers straight over the Tropic of Cancer, just south of Key West, Florida.

The summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest point of the year, but it's getting less high over time. That's because Earth's tilt is decreasing.

The solstice is when the Sun is lowest in the sky for those at the equator.

In India, the summer solstice marks the end of a 6-month period when spiritual growth is supposedly easiest. Too bad, you blew it.

On the summer solstice, the Sun rises farthest left on the horizon and sets at its rightmost possible spot. Sunlight strikes places in rooms that get illuminated at no other time.

In ancient Greece, the solstitial Sun happened in Cancer [the constellation]. But it moved into Gemini around the time of Christ. In 1989, it shifted into Taurus, where it will remain until the fifth millennium

Bob Berman's Strange Universe / Astronmy Magazaine 6/09

Thanks Bob and Astronomy Magazine!


Day Star Day!
A Celebration of the Summer Solstice and the Star We Call Our Sun

Image: The Sky Astronomy Software


Participate in This Unique Celebration!

Every year near the summer solstice, Jack Horkheimer, Star Gazer, would ask everyone to celebrate the rising of our local day star, the Sun. He did this because most people never truly experience a sunrise. He would encourage us to get up before twilight began, to observe the effects of sunrise on everything all around us. In honor of Jack who died August 20, 2010 I continue to promote this unique celebration.

Create your own official Day Star Day. Celebrate the summer solstice and the rising of the Sun!

Get up about 15 minutes before sunrise,
while it's still dark outside.

It's not the Sun itself that you are going to observe but the effects of sunrise on everything around you as night slowly turns into day. It is better to be outside but if not just sit by an open window.

Now for the rules, which are absolutely essential: no radio, no television, no doing your normal wake up routine. All distractions must be eliminated. Simply sit quietly inside or outside and when you see the skies slowly start to brighten, look, listen and feel what happens all around you. Watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow. Listen to the different sounds of our world and its creatures waking up. Feel the wind change, the temperature change, and much, much more as night slowly slips into day.

Keep track of all the subtle changes you notice and record your observations on paper or into a tape recorder. And then read or listen to your observations a few days later ... if you've never done this before, you're in for a pleasant surprise ... experiencing the effects of a sunrise using all of your senses and your full attention is one of the most wonderful experiences this planet has to offer ... you'll be amazed at what a star rise over a small planet can do for you. Star Gazer

Watch Jack's final 5-minute video regarding this celebration.

Click here to learn more about Jack Horkheimer and the current status of his weekly show.


The spiritual significance of the Summer Solstice

Solstice Global Meditations

There are a variety of solstice global meditations occurring at various times during the day. Participate in one or more of these meditations to strengthen the Light Grid of planet Earth. Those living in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are participating in June's solstice meditations.

Note: In 2016 many will also be participating in June 20th's Full Moon meditations and in World Invocation Day.

Solstice Exact: Monday, June 20, at 3:34pm PDT (22:34 UT)
This is also the day of the June Full Moon in 2016.
It is also
World Invocation Day.


Global Solstice Meditation
Monday, June 20, 2016
Meditation Begins: 3:09pm PDT (22:09
UT) Your Time
Communion of Souls: 3:34pm PDT (22:34
UT) Your Time
Or choose any other moment to participate.

A 30-min. audio meditation is provided.
The recording is designed to begin 25
minutes before the exact solstice time.
In addition 2 images are provided that
participants refer to during the audio meditation.
You may choose to not use the recording and
participate in the Communion of Souls
occurring at the exact solstice time.
If so, a 15 minute preparatory
meditation is recommended.
“We shall never underestimate the
power of our Union to bring about swift,
near miraculous changes around us.”


Global Solstice Meditation
For the Oceans and the Cetaceans

Solstice Monday June 20

I continue to include this archived online
meditation, because it is truly healing.
It includes stunning pictures,
inspirational words and
18 minutes of wonderful music.
Anyone who participates will be
sending as well as receiving a blessing!
Marine Animal Meditation Music by Kauwila


Worldwide Didgeridoo Meditation
Summer Solstice ~ Sunset Your Time

This a worldwide link-up of people supporting
environmental and personal awareness.
It is held on the equinoxes and solstices.
Starting at sunset participants are asked to
play or listen to meditative music
(preferably didgeridoos) for 45 minutes
and then sit silently for 15 minutes.
This wave meditation starts in New Zealand,
is followed by Australia, Asia, Arab countries,
Israel, Africa, Europe, with America,
Canada, Middle and South America
completing the world wide circle.
Participants Worldwide
Global Sunrise / Sunset Times


World Peace and Prayer Day
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This is an annual solstice gathering of all nations and
all faiths joining hearts in prayer for world peace and
global healing. You are invited to gather at sacred
sites globally, and make a great circle of prayer
for world peace and the healing of Mother Earth.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the
Lakota people and the 19th generation keeper
of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, received
the vision for this day and performs ceremony each
year with the indigenous people of North Amercia.
Ceremony Suggestions
People who practice non-traditional spirituality,
can use these suggestions during the ceremony.


World Yoga Day
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Sunset Your Time

At sunset in every region, millions of yoga
practitioners will gather to meditate and
do yoga together. And we’d love for
you to join us for the journey, in
a massive wave of yoga making
its way around the earth.
* * *
Additional Links of Interest
Yoga Day Summit
Free Online Event ~ June 21
Terry Gross Interviews Michelle Goldberg
Author of The Goddess Pose: The Audacious
Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who
Helped Bring Yoga to the West


Current and Ongoing Global Meditations


I'd like to know your thoughts about The Night Sky ...
send me an email
May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!
Susan Sun


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