Tag archives for Seasons
Winter is officially over. Today is the first day of spring! This day is also known as the vernal equinox. Many people believe that this is the day when daylight and nighttime hours are equally long, but is that really true? According to Geoff Chester, a public affairs specialist with Washington, D.C.’s U.S. Naval Observatory, the hours are equal before the equinox, although “exactly when it happens depends on where you are located on the surface of the Earth,” he said.
Photograph by Mario Guzmán, European Pressphoto Agency
Yesterday was the summer solstice, which means that summer has officially started! The summer solstice marks the point where there is the most daylight in a 24-hour period in the northern hemisphere (above the Equator). The winter solstice, which will fall on December 21, marks the day when there is the least daylight. In the southern hemisphere, it’s switched–the summer solstice is the shortest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the longest.
The first day of summer may get more daylight than any other day of the year, but that doesn’t mean it is the hottest. Astronomer Robert Howell from the Universtiy of Wyoming compares the solstice to turning on an oven. “If you think about turning up an oven–it takes it a long time to heat up, and after you turn it off, it takes a while for it to cool down. It’s the same with the Earth.”
Learn more about the summer solstice on National Geographic News.
Looking for ways to have fun this summer? Try our Boredom Busters!