The Summer Solstice


In 2013 summer solstice is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere on Friday, June 21. It is exact when the Sun enters Cancer on Thursday, June 20, at 10:04pm PDT (05:04 UT Friday, June 21).

You know it's summer because the Sun reaches its farthest point north for the year. It is at its highest in the sky at local noon and the solstice shadows are very short. Click Shadows Vanish in India to see how latitude affects these shadows (scroll half way down the link).

The higher the Sun rises in the heavens the more distance it has to travel from one horizon to the other and hence, the longer daylight. This is the longest day of the year, or so they say! Hmmm ... In 2013, in San Francisco there are 4 longest days each with 14 hours and 47 minutes. How many are there in your area? Check it out for yourself ... Sun Data /One Year Table

Why are there 4 longest days?!?! This occurs because the declination of the Sun changes or varies only slightly during the solstices. The analemma, an unsymmetrical figure-8 shape of the Sun’s daily position at the same time, illustrates this concept with its flattening at both ends.

The length of daylight (as measured in minutes) is pretty much the same for several days or more, both at the summer and also the winter solstice. If you were to do the calculations down to the exact second of time, then the longest amount of daylight would coincide with the time of the summer solstice. Thank-you James Davis and Joe Rao / Skywatching Columnist for these valued insights.


The Sun's Seasonal Path

Image: TheSky Astronomy Software

The Sun's path is shown after sunrise during the solstices and equinoxes. When the solstice Sun appears farthest north, it marks the beginning of summer. After the summer solstice the Sun begins its journey southward and the days start getting shorter.

High Sun ~ Low Moon

When the solstice Sun swings high, the Moon around the solstice swings low to the south. Compare the summer solstice paths of the Sun and Moon.

In 2005 and 2006 we had two extreme low "solstice" Moons at declinations of –27 to –28°+. These extreme southern positions were due to the lunar standstill season that occurs every 18.6–19 years. See Moon Swings ~ Highs and Lows to learn more.

In Britain this is traditionally known as "midsummer." In the Southern Hemisphere the Sun is at its lowest, casting long shadows and it is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This is the darkest day of the year for the South Pole, which has already had three months without the Sun and expects three more! This is the brightest day at the North Pole with the Sun at its highest all day long! This land of the "Midnight Sun" is in full sunlight (except for clouds) during the entire summer and this solstice marks high noon in its 6-month day! These different seasons are the result of Earth's tilt, together with its orbit around the Sun.

Here are a few more solstice goodies from Bob Berman at Astronomy Magazine.

The word solstice comes from the two Latin words "sun" and "stoppage." Makes sense: The Sun stops moving north that day.

The June solstice Sun hovers straight over the Tropic of Cancer, just south of Key West, Florida.

The summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest point of the year, but it's getting less high over time. That's because Earth's tilt is decreasing.

The solstice is when the Sun is lowest in the sky for those at the equator.

In India, the summer solstice marks the end of a 6-month period when spiritual growth is supposedly easiest. Too bad, you blew it.

On the summer solstice, the Sun rises farthest left on the horizon and sets at its rightmost possible spot. Sunlight strikes places in rooms that get illuminated at no other time.

In ancient Greece, the solstitial Sun happened in Cancer [the constellation]. But it moved into Gemini around the time of Christ. In 1989, it shifted into Taurus, where it will remain until the fifth millennium

Bob Berman's Strange Universe / Astronmy Magazaine 6/09

Thanks Bob and Astronomy Magazine!


Day Star Day!
A Celebration of the Summer Solstice and the Star We Call Our Sun

Image: The Sky Astronomy Software


Participate in This Unique Celebration!

Every year near the summer solstice, Jack Horkheimer, Star Gazer, would ask everyone to celebrate the rising of our local day star, the Sun. He did this because most people never truly experience a sunrise. He would encourage us to get up before twilight began, to observe the effects of sunrise on everything all around us. In honor of Jack who died August 20, 2010 I continue to promote this unique celebration.

Create your own official Day Star Day. Celebrate the summer solstice and the rising of the Sun!

Get up about 15 minutes before sunrise,
while it's still dark outside.

It's not the Sun itself that you are going to observe but the effects of sunrise on everything around you as night slowly turns into day. It is better to be outside but if not just sit by an open window.

Now for the rules, which are absolutely essential: no radio, no television, no doing your normal wake up routine. All distractions must be eliminated. Simply sit quietly inside or outside and when you see the skies slowly start to brighten, look, listen and feel what happens all around you. Watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow. Listen to the different sounds of our world and its creatures waking up. Feel the wind change, the temperature change, and much, much more as night slowly slips into day.

Keep track of all the subtle changes you notice and record your observations on paper or into a tape recorder. And then read or listen to your observations a few days later ... if you've never done this before, you're in for a pleasant surprise ... experiencing the effects of a sunrise using all of your senses and your full attention is one of the most wonderful experiences this planet has to offer ... you'll be amazed at what a star rise over a small planet can do for you. Star Gazer

Watch Jack's final 5-minute video regarding this celebration.

Click here to learn more about Jack Horkheimer and the current status of his weekly show.


The spiritual significance of the Summer Solstice

Solstice Global Meditations

Solstice Exact: June 20 at 10:04pm PDT (05:04 UT June 21)

Gaiafield Global Solstice Meditation
Thursday, June 20
9:00-10:30am PDT (16:00-17:30

The Gaiafield Project and the
Summer of Peace Program invite
you to participate in a synchronized
Global Meditation to celebrate the
Earth Treasure Healing Vase Project
and to help activate the global grid laid
down by this remarkable 23 year project.
Visit the Global Care Room Today
Enter as a guest or login.


Global Solstice Meditation
Friday, June 21, 2013
Preparation: 04:34-05:04 UT
Communion of Souls: 05:04 UT (Your Time)

After a 30-min. preparatory meditation join
as One through a global Communion of souls.
If you are unable to participate
in the synchronized Communion
at 05:04 UT, choose any
other moment of the day.
Meditation suggestions are provided.
“We shall never underestimate the
power of our Union to bring about swift,
near miraculous changes around us.”


World Peace and Prayer Day
Solstice Friday, June 21, 2013

This is an annual gathering of all nations and all faiths
joining hearts in prayer for world peace and global
healing. You are invited to gather at sacred sites
globally, and make a great circle of prayer for
world peace and the healing of Mother Earth.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the
Lakota people and the 19th generation keeper of the
Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, received the vision
for this day and performs ceremony each year
with the indigenous people of North Amercia.
Ceremony Suggestions
People who practice non-traditional spirituality,
can use these suggestions during the ceremony.
Santa Ynez, California
In 2013 the Sacred Fire, the heart of World Peace
and Prayer Day, will be lit on the morning of June 20th
and honored over four days, June 20, 21, 22, 23.
All are welcome to hear the wisdom and peace
teachings of healers and elders of traditions.


Global Solstice Sunrise / Sunset Meditation
June Solstice
Friday, June 21, 2013
Sunrise or Sunset

Participants in this World Unity Celebration
TuneIn and SoulConnect 10 minutes before
the sunset or sunrise till 10 minutes after.
One opens the heart to the flow of Universal
Unconditional Love to heal oneself,
all of humanity and the planet.
Global Sunrise / Sunset Times


Global Solstice Meditation
For the Oceans and the Cetaceans

June Solstice

This is a beautiful meditation that
includes stunning pictures,
inspirational words and
18 minutes of wonderful music.
Anyone who participates will be
sending as well as receiving a healing!
Marine Animal Meditation Music by Kauwila


Worldwide Didgeridoo Meditation
June Solstice at Sunset

This a worldwide link-up of people supporting
environmental and personal awareness.
It is held on the equinoxes and solstices.
Starting at sunset participants are asked to
play or listen to meditative music
(preferably didgeridoos) for 45 minutes
and then sit silently for 15 minutes.
This wave meditation starts in New Zealand,
is followed by Australia, Asia, Arab countries,
Israel, Africa, Europe, with America,
Canada, Middle and South America
completing the world wide circle.
Participants Worldwide
Global Sunrise / Sunset Times


Solstice Candle Night 2013
June Solstice Evening
8:00pm-10:00pm Your Time

A “Candle Night” can increase one's ability to
be still and know, therefore it is included
in this list of global meditations.
Spend an evening by candle light and
take a break from the everyday
hectic pace of life. Turn off lights;
light a candle; make Divine contact.
This biannual solstice event held since
2003, was originally initiated by
several of Japan's environmental non-
governmental organizations. Candle Night
is spreading from Japan to the world.
Lots of ideas about how to enjoy this evening
are included on the Candle Night website.


Current and Ongoing Global Meditations


I'd like to know your thoughts about The Night Sky and
if you'd like reminders to Look Up! ...

send me an email
May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!
Susan Sun


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