You can watch summer roll in from Stonehenge!
While the weather has been scorching for a while, June 20 marks this year's summer solstice, which officially marks the beginning of summer for us in the Northern Hemisphere (it marks winter in the Southern Hemisphere).
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and marks the time of year when the Earth is positioned in its orbit so that the North Pole is leaning most toward the sun. It's the farthest north the sun will ever get.
"All locations north of the equator have days longer than 12 hours at the June solstice. Meanwhile, all locations south of the equator have days shorter than 12 hours," says earthsky.org.
The solstice technically occurs at 5:44 p.m. EDT.
"Because the Sun is highest in the sky on this day, you’ll notice that your shadow (at local, or solar, noon, not clock-time noon) is the shortest that it will be all year," says almanac.org.
And sadly, our days start getting a little bit shorter from there on out, with the shortest day of the year falling on the winter solstice, December 21.
Interestingly, many man-made structures were made to mark the passing of the seasons. The stones of Stonehenge in England, for example, align with the summer solstice. There are usually solstice celebrations held around the structure every year.
Unfortunately, though you can't visit Stonehenge this year due to COVID-19, you can watch sunrise and sunset at Stonehenge right from your own home!
The English Heritage Facebook page will be live-streaming as the sun appears and sets on June 20 in celebration of the solstice.
"We can't welcome you in person this year because of the measures in place to combat coronavirus – but our live coverage of sunset and sunrise means you won't miss a moment of this special occasion. Our cameras will capture the best views of Stonehenge, allowing you to connect with this spiritual place from the comfort of your own home," says English Heritage.
You can access the event on the English Heritage Facebook page. Be sure to allow for the time difference between England and the time zone you live in.
Will you be watching the Stonehenge live feed? How do you usher in the summer season? Let us know in the comments!