Summer Solstice 2022

The longest day of the year is known as the summer solstice, and has been celebrated across the world in some form since prehistory.

This year, the solstice falls on Tuesday 21 June in the northern hemisphere, with large groups of revellers set to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge as per tradition.

Here’s how long the longest day of the year will actually be, and how you can watch the sun rising at the stone circle online.

What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice marks the date of the longest period of daylight and the shortest night of the year, when the Earth’s north pole has its maximum tilt towards the sun.

Slightly confusingly, as well as kicking off the astronomical season, the solstice can also be known as midsummer – because the days begin to get shorter after it has passed.

Conversely, the winter solstice (or midwinter), which tends to fall around the 21 December, marks the shortest day of the year and the start of the astronomical season.

Equinoxes get their name from the Latin for “equal night”, and mark the only two points in the year when the equator is the closest part of Earth to the sun.

For six months each of the year, either the northern or southern hemisphere is pointing slightly more towards the sun, bringing the warmer temperatures of spring and summer.

The autumnal and spring equinoxes mark when the two hemispheres swap over, while the summer and winter solstices denote the sun reaching its most northerly and southerly points.

What time is sunrise on summer solstice 2022?

According to the website Time and Date, on Tuesday 21 June the sun will rise at Stonehenge at 4:51 am.

How can I watch the sunrise at Stonehenge live?

In the UK the iconic image of druids gathering at Stonehenge has become synonymous with the summer solstice, which has been associated with paganism for thousands of years.

Known by pagans as Litha, the solstice marks the only day that the rising run reaches the middle of the stones when shining on the formation’s central altar, and draws large crowds each year.

There will be a live stream of this year’s summer solstice on the English Heritage Facebook and YouTube pages.

There are official Facebook event pages for both the sunrise and sunset streams.

The sunrise live stream will start at 4am BST on Tuesday, with the sun coming up at 4.51am, while the sunset stream will begin at 8.45pm, with the sun setting at 9.28pm.

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