The summer solstice is upon us: June 21 is the longest day of 2018 for anyone living north of the equator. If rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the solstice is still pretty dope. (Google is marking the occasion with a Google Doodle.)
Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude. This occurred at exactly 6:07 am Eastern on Thursday the 21st. So set your alarm, or feel free to sleep right through it.
Between March and September, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere gets more exposure to direct sunlight over the course of a day. The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more. It’s why we have seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, “peak” sunlight usually occurs on June 20, 21, or 22 of any given year. That’s the summer solstice. By contrast, the Southern Hemisphere reaches peak sunlight on December 21, 22, or 23 and the north hits peak darkness — that’s our winter solstice.