Why Is June 21 The Longest Day Of The Year?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - The Earth tilts on an axis as it orbits around the sun.

In the Northern Hemisphere, June 21 is the day when we are tilted closest to the sun -- thus the sun appears highest in the sky (about 66 degrees above the horizon at noon for Seattle). That means the sun spends the most amount of time above the horizon that day.

It's exactly opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where the Earth is tilted furthest away from the sun, so for them, today's the first day of winter. So while we're in shorts, Australians are bundling up.

It works the opposite for winter on Dec. 21. That's when we're tilted furthest away from the sun, and get the shortest day of the year.

Your Photos

YouNews Plentiful Bounty Plentiful Bounty
I have never had as much fruit on my trees as this year! Anyone else getting a bumper crop?
YouNews New snow for Mt. Rainier New snow for Mt. Rainier
A new blanket of snow arrived on Mt. Rainier during the prior
rain as seen in the photos taken before (August 28th) and after (August 31) the weekend rain.