Excite

Summer Solstice 2014 signals first day of Summer | June 21 2014

  • Getty Images

This Saturday will see the sun reach its most northern point in the sky on a day known as the Summer Solstice. This means that Saturday will officially be the longest day of the year and you can probably notice that your shadow is much shorter this week thanks to the sun being so high in the sky.

The science behind it all is that as the Earth spins on it's axis, on June 21st the North Pole will be tilted at an angle of 23 degrees and will be at it's closest point to the sun. This is gradually reversed then so that the South Pole tilts towards the sun on December 21st as the Southern Hemisphere bask in their longest day of the year.

The days are spectacular in and around this special occasion with early sunrises and late sunsets and Winter is but a distant memory. The exact time of the solstice in the UK will be at 10.51GMT and it is at this time that the northernmost point on Earth stops tilting towards the sun and slowly reverses as the days begin to shorten little by little.

And just as the weather takes a few hours to heat up on sunny days, the same goes for temperatures in summer. The Earth takes a while to heat up once the Summer Solstice passes. The Northern Hemisphere will have taken the maximum amount of sunshine, the months of July and August heat up just like a beautiful mid-afternoon heatwave.

The historic and mysterious site of Stonehenge will be holding special celebrations overnight on Friday until 8am on Saturday morning to mark the occasion. Built as a sophisticated way of tracking the suns path through the sky, there is no better place to witness the occasion. As this Summer Solstice happens to fall on a weekend, English Heritage have warned that parking will not be easy to find so they suggest parking elsewhere and taking public transport to the site.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2017