At 5:14 a.m. Tuesday, the sun’s annual journey arrives at its most northern point in the sky.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we experience the longest hours of daylight and the shortest hours of darkness as Earth’s north pole tilts directly towards the sun.
It’s the astronomical welcome of summer! The sun’s path will then appear to change direction and the hours of daylight will slowly recede.
The illusion is that the sun paused for a moment, an impression that gave the celestial event its Latin name — solstice.
Sol is our sun. Stiticum, or stice, translates to standing or appearing still.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the shortest hours of daylight are experienced, and winter begins below the equator.
Near solstice, the sun sets more slowly. The farther the sun sets from directly due west the shallower the setting sun’s angle.
Due to that angle, the sun takes longer to dip below the horizon.