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First Day of Summer

Summer officially arrives with Wednesday’s solstice. This time also marks the beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

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What is the summer solstice?

It’s when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, directly above the Tropic of Cancer. With the sun so high, it is also the longest day of the year for every place north of the Tropic of Cancer. Some areas north of the Arctic Circle will experience a natural phenomenon known as the midnight sun, where the sun remains visible for the full 24 hours.

The solstice also brings the year’s northernmost sunrise and sunset.

(Meteorologists consider summer to be the hottest three months of the year — June, July and August — which in terms of weather for those of us down here on Earth is more realistic than mid-June to mid-September.)

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People around the world celebrate the summer solstice with music and festivities.