Summer will arrive one day earlier this year!

The summer solstice marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer.

Summer will arrive one day earlier this year!
This extreme tilt means we will have 15 hours of daylight on June 20th. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The summer solstice on June 20 will mark the official start to astronomical summer. This date is slightly different than its usual start date of June 21.

In fact, the start to summer can vary by a few hours each year, but since 2020 is a leap year, this is one of the earliest jump-starts to summer that we ever see. Now technically our first FULL day of summer is on Sunday. The solstice won’t occur until Saturday evening at 5:44 p.m.; therefore, the majority of that day will be spring.

Prior to the summer solstice, the vernal equinox started on March 20th.
Prior to the summer solstice, the vernal equinox started on March 20th. (Source: NBC12)

In more scientific terms, this Saturday the northern hemisphere will experience its greatest tilt towards the sun. Due to the high angle of tilt on Earth’s axis, we will get fifteen hours of daylight on Saturday versus the twelve hours we get on the vernal equinox, which marks the start to spring.

This extreme tilt means we will have 15 hours of daylight on June 20th.
This extreme tilt means we will have 15 hours of daylight on June 20th. (Source: NBC12)

In another six months and we will be on the opposite side of things (literally) and getting ready for the winter solstice (with only nine hours of daylight).

Although we are in the midst of a global pandemic we’ll all have the opportunity to celebrate the summer solstice at one of the world’s most unique sites.

For the first time ever, the annual tradition of watching the sunrise into the center of the Heel Stone at Stonehenge in Salisbury, England will be live-streamed!

The English Heritage Organization is adapting to the quickly changing times by keeping the tradition alive while also maintaining the safety of the thousands that typically show up to celebrate. You can find the link to the live stream here. Though the sunrise is at 4:52 am British Standard Time, those of us on the east coast should tune in this Saturday at 11:52 p.m. EST.

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