"Day Star Day: Our Annual Star Gazer Celebration of Our Closest Star on the Summer Solstice"

Scheduled air date: 2003 Jun 16-22

Click on the above image to see an animated QuickTime® presentation! (395 KB)
Summer Solstice—the beginning of Summer—is June 21 this year for the Northern Hemisphere.  This is an excellent time to go outside early and simply observe the sounds and changes in temperature, and of course lighting, that take place during a sunrise.

At this time of year, the Sun appears farthest north, which marks the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  (The Sun's path after sunrise is shown for the solstices and equinoxes.)

At this time in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun's path across the sky is at its highest, or closest to the southern horizon, while the Moon's path is at its lowest.

For comparison, the above shows the paths of the Sun and Moon across the sky at Winter Solstice—the beginning of Winter (the night of December 21-22 this year).  Note that, relative to Summer Solstice, the Sun and Moon appear to have switched places.
(Positions shown at one-hour intervals for mid-Northern latitudes.  The Moon's symbol in the above illustrations is intended to show the Moon's path and not its phase.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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