The summer solstice: When is it and what causes it?

The summer solstice marks the official start of astronomical summer and the longest day of the year. It occurs when one of Earth’s poles is tilted toward the sun at its most extreme angle, and due to Earth’s tilt this happens twice a year. In the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice falls in June (while the Southern Hemisphere experiences winter solstice), and in the Southern Hemisphere it falls in December (while the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter solstice).

The next summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere will occur on June 21, 2023, and the next summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere will occur on Dec. 21, 2022.

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