June 2012 solstice

Today the sun is above the horizon longer than on any other day of the year. It’s also the day the sun “stands still” in declination: that is, it stops moving north from one sunrise/sunset to the next, and starts moving south. And, as we Northern Hemisphere types recall, when the sun’s in the south (where it will be in a few months, after the equinox), we start to think “winter.”

Here’s a diagram to refresh your memories (taken from a Google image search returning a page from the Fairfax County Public Schools Planetarium):

 

Remember: the Earth’s axis [...]