Crowds gathered at Stonehenge in the UK to watch the sun set ahead of the summer solstice. Also called the longest day of the year, the event marks the start of the summer season in the northern hemisphere.
The video showing the sunset was shot on June 20 by Ricky Parbery, who said it was “such a fun moment”, and made available by Storyful.
Such a fun time for the summer solstice at Stonehenge 🤩 pic.twitter.com/QP4KjEHvk4
— Ricky 🌑 (@RickyJamesP) June 20, 2022
According The Guardian“Pagans, healers, nature lovers and revelers” flocked to the site in their thousands for sunrise on Tuesday, after COVID-19 restrictions impacted festivities in 2020 and 2021.
Read also | Everything you need to know about the longest day of the year
The summer solstice marks the return of brighter evenings as it is the longest period of sunshine. For those in North America, this astronomical event began on June 20 at 10:32 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) while for the rest it began on June 21, 2021 at 03:32 UTC.
At this precise moment, Earth’s North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun, making it appear at its highest point in the sky this year.
When our planet’s orbit reaches the point where the North Pole is most tilted towards the Sun, it is exactly above the Tropic of Cancer at this time. Because the Sun goes furthest north in the sky around the solstice, the days before it have the longest daylight of the year.
Solstices occur due to the tilt of the Earth. At the dawn of our solar system, billions of years ago, the Earth tilted on its axis due to a random collision with other rocks. This gave us the solstices, equinoxes and seasons.
According to Earthsky, as the Earth revolves around the Sun, the northern and southern hemispheres alternately receive light and heat from the Sun every six months. The Earth is tilted on its axis about 23.4 degrees from the plane of its orbit, which is why we get solstices.
Since ancient times, people have carefully observed the summer solstice. People used the day to organize calendars and farmers marked the day by sowing or harvesting crops. Many historians say that Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England believed to be 4,500 years old, is proof that humans use the June solstice as a way to define the time of year. Even now, tourists and locals visit Stonehenge to watch the sunrise at the summer solstice.