June 21st is the longest day of the year

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Despite the summer like temperatures we've already seen this month, the official summer season has yet to begin. The official start of astronomical summer isn't until June 21st at 5:07am CDT. This is when the northern hemisphere is looking most directly towards the sun. The earth rotates along an axis that is tilted at exactly 23.5 degrees, this is what gives us our change in seasons. During the winter solstice, seen on December 21, the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, giving us less direct sunlight and days that consist of less sunlight in the form of hours. While the summer and winter solstices are the extremes, the autumn and spring equinox are the transition seasons, where the equator is directly in line with the sun and both the northern and southern hemispheres see the same amount of light.

It is typically said that the summer solstice makes for the longest day of the year. Although the actual hours in the day don't change, the amount of sunshine received is longer than that of any other day. On the day of the summer solstice, the sun is set to rise here in the Tri-States at 5:37am and sets at 8:37pm, giving us a total of 15 hours of daylight. This is just over 6 hours more daylight in the summer compared to the 9 Hours and 20 minutes we see during the winter solstice where the sun rises at 7:23am and sets at 4:23pm.

So be sure to watch the sun rise and set on the longest day of the year this Thursday as we welcome in the official start to the summer season.

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