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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

This Week: The Sun Stands Still

This Week: The Sun Stands Still

Wednesday, June 20, at 7:09 p.m., is the Summer Solstice for 2012. This is the moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, its highest point in the Northern Hemisphere. Though many people consider Memorial Day to be the first day of summer, the Solstice marks the official start of the season.

The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still) because, during the solstice, the angle between the Sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator (called declination) appears to stand still.

So what does that mean? Essentially, our hours of daylight — the period of time each day between sunrise and sunset — have been growing slightly longer each day since the Winter Solstice in December, which is the shortest day of the year (at least in terms of light). Starting after June 20, the days will begin to grow shorter and will continue to do so until we reach the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012, at 6:11 a.m., and begin the whole cycle anew!

While we celebrate the Summer Solstice, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere will be simultaneously marking the Winter Solstice. That’s because, while our half of the globe is incline toward the Sun, their half is inclined away. Starting this week, their days will begin to grow longer.

1 comment

1 Jayla SunBird { 06.22.12 at 11:07 am }

I know what it’s like to lean against that tree and bathe in the ambience of the sunset until the stars comes out and moon rises. Blessed is the person who rendered this capture to share it; so many people needs this right now, They’re seekg something to help them focus on piece of mind. A bunch of kids just made much over it. Thanks.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.