First day of summer, longest day of the year
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Astronomical summer officially began on June 21 at 5:14 a.m. EDT.
At this moment, the sun was directly in line with the imaginary line circling the globe 23.5 degrees north of the equator, known as the Tropic of Cancer.
The summer solstice is the day with the longest amount of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere and shortest amount of darkness.
Due to the tilt of our planet, Earth’s North Pole is pointed toward the sun and is receiving the most amount of sunlight possible. This point also marks the start of astronomical winter for the Southern Hemisphere, as the South Pole is pointed as far away from the sun as possible and receives no sunlight during this time.
Tampa will receive 13 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds of daylight. The north pole will receive 24 hours of daylight and the tropical of cancer will see 13.5 hours of daylight.
Every day from here until the winter solstice in December, the daylight length will get shorter as the sun sinks back lower in the sky. It is a slow process though for the first two months.
From now through August 21, Tampa only loses just under an hour of daylight at the sunrises get later and sunsets get earlier. However, after that the process speeds up a bit losing about another hour in just one month from Aug. 21 through Sept. 21.
Even though the days are getting shorter, the summer heat is just turning on and temperatures will get warmer for the next few months. The sun’s angle in the sky will slowly sink back south, but because the energy isn’t mostly being used to warm the land and water bodies back up from the winter anymore, it is used to heat up the Northern Hemisphere.
To prove that the tilt is what causes the seasons, it is important to know that the earth is at its closest point physically to the sun on its orbit in early January, which is when it is colder in the Northern Hemisphere.