Summery Solstice in the New Forest

Solstice science and midsummer musings

Just in time for the summer solstice, summer 2024 seems finally to have arrived.

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The Summer Solstice

Summer and winter solstices occur when the earth's 23.5-degree tilt is at its most direct either completely toward or away from the sun.

And summer seems to have arrived in the New Forest - just in time for the summer solstice!

This is the moment that the sun is above the Tropic of Cancer, the northernmost latitude at which it can be directly overhead.

People typically think 21 June is the ‘longest day’. (They often also say that’s Midsummer's Day – more on that in a moment.)

The summer solstice can however fall on 20, 21 or 22 June; in 2024 it is at 21.51 on 20 June, with sunrise next morning at 4.43am.

The word solstice comes from the Latin solstitium meaning sun standing still. That’s related to the position of sunset and sunrise on the horizon. Both points have been heading north day by day and will now appear to pause awhile, before setting off towards the south again.

The Strawberry Moon

Next we have a full moon to look forward to, on 22 June at 02.07. 

June’s full moon is called the ‘strawberry moon’. The Old Farmer's Almanac, which first began publishing the names for the full moons in the 1930s, states that some Native American tribes named the full moon in June as the "strawberry moon" to match the short harvest season for strawberries.

Midsummer’s Day

Contrary to what many people think, Midsummer's Day traditionally takes place on the precise date of 24 June.

Its origins are the celebration of the season of summer on an ancient 'quarter day', that historically marks the middle of growing season.

Hope you enjoy these little snippets!


Summer Solstice 2022 Hatchet Pond

Summer solstice sunset hatchet pond 2022

Spectacular sunset Monday 17 June 2024

Summer Solstice Hatchet Pond

Summer Solstice 2024 Hatchet Pond

Summer Solstice 2024 Hatchet Pond


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