George Rucker's Newsletter June 28, 2016

Here we are, the first Tuesday of summer,

I truly like summer and the warm weather.  The bad thing is we are once again having the days get shorter as we descend into the winter solstice.  At least the good thing is the process is rather slow, only a few minutes a day.  I miss all those years, more than 10% of my life, along the Equator while living in the Phillippines.  Our days were warm too hot and the daylight hours didn’t change very much.  If I wanted to find temperature in the 60s all, I needed to do was drive to the mountain tops.

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (in June and December) as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. Both the solstices and the equinoxes are directly connected with the seasons of the year.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of the solstice is either the longest day of the year (summer solstice) or the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) for any place outside of the tropics. Alternative terms, with no ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context, are June solstice and December solstice, referring to the months of year in which they take place.

At latitudes in the temperate zone, the summer solstice marks the day when the sun appears highest in the sky. However, in the tropics, the sun appears directly overhead (called the subsolar point) some days (or even months) before the solstice and again after the solstice, which means the subsolar point occurs twice each year.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun's path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.