On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the world experienced the longest daylight and the shortest night of the year known as Summer Solstice, which is a natural phenomenon where the sun appears to stop rising or falling, but stands still in the sky at its greatest angular distance from the celestial equator. As that day heralds the beginning of another geographical season of the year-Summer, Science Writer, STANLEY CHIBUIHEM AMALAHA, takes a look at the science inclination associated with this celestial wonder show and the period in which the season will last
There are two natural phenomena you experience twice yearly, but you rarely notice. Each year, you experience one around the middle of the year and the other, towards the end of the year. These two geographical events double your age. That means by the time you are 50 years, you would have experienced them 100 times.
Fortunately, you experienced one on Wednesday, June 21, just a few days ago, while the other will be on December 22. These are Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice respectively. Wednesday June 21 was the Summer Solstice the longest day of the year.
Welcome to summer one of the four seasons of the year.
Seasons occur because the amounts of energy that the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere receive from the sun change over the course of a year.
There are four seasons of the year namely: Spring, ‘Summer, Autumn, which is also called ‘fall,’ and Winter’ SUMMER “Summer it is the hottest season which occurs between the Spring and Autumn. Summer is when the sun shines most directly, thereby, making it the hottest three months of the year varying with the climate. Summer begins around June 21 yearly when the daylight is longest, “ explained Prof O. Oni, Head, Department of Geography, University of Lagos.
Astronomically, in the Northern hemisphere, the summer is the period from the ‘Summer Solstice about (June 21) to the autumnal equinox about September 22. This is a period of about three months while in the southern hemisphere, it is the period coinciding with the northern astronomical winter- the cold season of the years around December 21 till around March 22.
“The word ‘Solstice’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Solstitum’- ‘Sol’ meaning sun, while Sisters means ‘to stand’. Solstice generally is the point at which the sun appear to stop rising, or to stop falling, and stands still in the sky.
“During Summer Solstice, the sun is at its greatest angular distance from the celestial equator, thereby leading to the longest day and shortest night in one hemisphere of the earth. During this period, at noon on June 21, the sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer. Winter Solstice occurs around December 22,” explained Dr. Ege.E. Ege, Department of Geography, University of Lagos.
Astronomically, Winter otherwise known as ‘Cold’ season begins in the Northern hemisphere around December 21 when the daylight is shortest and ends around March 22. SPRING This is the season of the year when plants begin to bloom. In the Northern Hemisphere it begins around March 21, and ends around June 22. Spring is usually regarded as the first and freshest period or anytime or condition.
Autumn otherwise known as ‘Fall’, begins around September 22 and ends around December 21. It is the season between Summer and Winter. The Astronomical definition of these seasonal periods differ infinitesimally with their lexicon definition and each season has a period of three months. The ascending order of the four seasonal periods are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter
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