The summer (June) solstice occurred at 3:07 a.m. Thursday (June 21). At that time, the sun reached its northernmost position in the sky.
Four times a year we officially say goodbye to one season and say hello to another. The summer solstice represents the change from spring to summer, and the winter solstice around Dec. 21 represents the change from fall to winter. At the equinoxes winter changes into spring (spring equinox around March 21) and summer changes into autumn (autumnal equinox around Sept. 21).
The solstices are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, making the seasons opposite those of the Northern Hemisphere. While we are going into summer here, those living in the Southern Hemisphere are going into winter. It’s getting warmer in the U.S. and colder in Australia.
There is no excuse not to go outside on a warm summer evening and take in the beauty of the night sky.
Tonight, look west around 8 p.m. to see ever-brilliant Venus 25 degrees above the horizon. To the right (north) of Venus and closer to the western horizon is Mercury, sitting in Gemini the Twins. Above Mercury are the twins Pollux and Castor, left to right, respectively. In addition, the 9-day-old moon is directly south, 7 degrees above the bright star Spica.
Take a look.