Summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere today (June 21), marking the longest day of the year.
In June solstice (or summer solstice), the sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky. Providing maximum daily hours of the year for the Northern Hemisphere and minimum daily hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, according to Chris Vaughn, an amateur astronomer with SkySafari software who monitors Space.com Night sky calendar.
This year, the summer solstice officially occurred at 5:14 a.m. EDT (9:14 a.m. GMT), when the sun reached a point just above the tropics of Cancer (23.5 degrees north latitude).
In addition to the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer, the June solstice occurs at the time when the northern half of the The Earth is inclined to the sun, which causes the northern hemisphere to receive sunlight at the most direct angle of the year.
To determine how many hours of daylight you will receive during the June solstice, you can use the Farmer’s Almanac Sunrise and sunset calculator (opens in a new section).
As always, every story has two sides. While the Northern Hemisphere welcomes longer days and higher temperatures, the June solstice marks the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky.
Throughout June, star observers will be subjected to other sky-watching events, including a rare “parade of planets”, where all five planets will be visible to the naked eye in the preview sky as they line up in orbital order. the sun. From left to right in the southeastern sky you will be able to notice mercury, Venus, March, Jupiter and Saturn all in a row. (Mercury, which is usually hidden from the sun’s rays, will become easier to spot as the moon matures.)
The best opportunity to see this spectacle may come on June 24, as Mercury should rise about an hour before the sun, according to press release (opens in a new section) from Sky & Telescope.
Throughout June, The moon will continue to travel along the morning planets. Call of Mars on June 22, Venus on June 26 and finally Mercury on June 27.
We hope you take a good picture of the moon as it approaches the morning planets? Our guide for how to photograph the moon there are some useful tips. If you are looking for a camera, here is our review of the best astrophotography cameras and the best astrophotography lenses. As always, our guides for the best telescopes and the best binoculars can help you prepare for the next great sky watching event.