The 2022 Summer Solstice is here, which is the longest day of the year and the day on which we will get the most sunlight.
The traditions of celebrating the solstice go back thousands of years, but many in Birmingham will just be hoping to make the most of what looks likely to be good weather for the longest day.
Here’s a run down of just how much daylight Birmingham will see today, and also a look at how the Summer Solstice is marked.
When is the Summer Solstice 2022?
The 2022 Summer Solstice falls on Tuesday, 21 June.
The Summer Solstice always falls between 20 and 22 June of every year as it follows when the earth is most tilted towards the sun.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, the day when the earth is titled most towards the sun.
According to National Geographic, from March to September, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the sun, driving it’s spring and summer.
From September to March, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away, so it feels like autumn and winter. The Southern Hemisphere’s seasons are reversed.
So, when the Northern Hempisphere gets its Summer Solstice, the Southern Hemisphere has its Winter Solstice.
How long is the longest day?
The longest day varies depending on where in the Northern Hemisphere you are.
The closer you are to the North Pole, the longer your day of sunlight will be.
Iceland, for example, will see around 21 hours of sunlight today due to its location within the Arctic circle.
Other places in the Northern Hemisphere like Alaska can expect to see up to 19 hours of sunlight on 21 June.
In the UK, the average number of daylight hours today is 16.
How much daylight will there be in Birmingham today?
According to the Met Office, the sunrise in Birmingham today was at 4.45am.
The sun is expected to set at 9.34pm tonight, giving the city and surrounding area just under 17 hours of daylight today.
Sunrise and sunset on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be at the same time, but on Saturday (25 June) this will change to sunrise at 4.46am and sunset at 9.35pm.
Each day will then get slightly shorter, up until the Winter Solstice, or the longest day, which takes place in December.
How is the Solstice celebrated?
Societies and cultures have over thousands of years created celebrations to mark the summer solstice.
Arguably the most famous of these in the UK occurs at Stonehenge in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
The purpose of Stonehenge remains unknown, but the historic site has become a popular location for people to visit during the Summer Solstice.
This is because one of the stones, the Heel Stone (which stands outside the main structure) aligns perfectly with the rising sun.
The sunrise at Stonehenge today was at 4.52am, whilst the sunset is expected to be at 9.27pm.