Tag: Summer solstice

Summer solstice 2020.

As old as time itself!

holding-the-sunThe point at which the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator is the Summer Solstice, well it is for the Northern Hemisphere. This occurs annually on June 20 or June 21, depending on your time zone.

Here in Southern Oregon, the moment of the Summer Solstice will be at 2:43 PM or 14:43 PDT on Saturday, i.e. today! For the United Kingdom it will be at 22:43 BST on the same day or 21:43 GMT/UTC.

A quick web ‘look-up’ finds that the word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time, albeit momentarily.

At the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge in Southern England, the prehistoric monument that took Neolithic builders an estimated 1,500 years to erect, for many years the Druids have celebrated the Solstice and, undoubtedly, will be doing so again.

AMESBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: A man stands on top of Stonehenge as the sun rises over Salisbury Plain on June 21, 2006 in Amesbury, England. Police estimated around 17,000 people travelled to watch the sun rise ove the 5,000 year old stone circle to start the longest day of the year. The all-night party to celebrate the Summer Solstice passed with only four arrests being made. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
AMESBURY, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 21: A man stands on top of Stonehenge as the sun rises over Salisbury Plain on June 21, 2006 in Amesbury, England. Police estimated around 17,000 people travelled to watch the sun rise over the 5,000 year old stone circle to start the longest day of the year. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

There’s a good article over at EarthSky on this year’s Solstice. I would like to quote a little from it:

At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that our world’s North Pole is leaning most toward the sun. As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23 1/2 degrees north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer – named after the constellation Cancer the Crab. This is as far north as the sun ever gets.

All locations north of the equator have days longer than 12 hours at the June solstice. Meanwhile, all locations south of the equator have days shorter than 12 hours.

and

Where should I look to see signs of the solstice in nature? Everywhere. For all of Earth’s creatures, nothing is so fundamental as the length of the day. After all, the sun is the ultimate source of almost all light and warmth on Earth’s surface.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you might notice the early dawns and late sunsets, and the high arc of the sun across the sky each day. You might see how high the sun appears in the sky at local noon. And be sure to look at your noontime shadow. Around the time of the solstice, it’s your shortest noontime shadow of the year.

If you’re a person who’s tuned in to the out-of-doors, you know the peaceful, comforting feeling that accompanies these signs and signals of the year’s longest day.

Is the solstice the first day of summer? No world body has designated an official day to start each new season, and different schools of thought or traditions define the seasons in different ways.

In meteorology, for example, summer begins on June 1. And every schoolchild knows that summer starts when the last school bell of the year rings.

Yet June 21 is perhaps the most widely recognized day upon which summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere and upon which winter begins on the southern half of Earth’s globe. There’s nothing official about it, but it’s such a long-held tradition that we all recognize it to be so.

It has been universal among humans to treasure this time of warmth and light.

For us in the modern world, the solstice is a time to recall the reverence and understanding that early people had for the sky. Some 5,000 years ago, people placed huge stones in a circle on a broad plain in what’s now England and aligned them with the June solstice sunrise.

We may never comprehend the full significance of Stonehenge. But we do know that knowledge of this sort wasn’t limited to just one part of the world. Around the same time Stonehenge was being constructed in England, two great pyramids and then the Sphinx were built on Egyptian sands. If you stood at the Sphinx on the summer solstice and gazed toward the two pyramids, you’d see the sun set exactly between them.

How does it end up hotter later in the summer, if June has the longest day? People often ask:

If the June solstice brings the longest day, why do we experience the hottest weather in late July and August?

This effect is called the lag of the seasons. It’s the same reason it’s hotter in mid-afternoon than at noontime. Earth just takes a while to warm up after a long winter. Even in June, ice and snow still blanket the ground in some places. The sun has to melt the ice – and warm the oceans – and then we feel the most sweltering summer heat.

Ice and snow have been melting since spring began. Meltwater and rainwater have been percolating down through snow on tops of glaciers.

But the runoff from glaciers isn’t as great now as it’ll be in another month, even though sunlight is striking the northern hemisphere most directly around now.

So wait another month for the hottest weather. It’ll come when the days are already beginning to shorten again, as Earth continues to move in orbit around the sun, bringing us closer to another winter.

And so the cycle continues.

Indeed, so the cycle continues as it has for time immemorial!

Of days and nights.

That magnificient night sky above us.

On Sunday evening Jean and I were invited around to Jim and Janet’s place as their regular summer movie nights swung back into the calendar.

Around 10pm local time the night sky just shone with stars and planets and my old friend The Plough, or Big Dipper (Ursa Major), was up there pointing the way to the North Star.

BigdipISSThen as we all prepared to return to our homes, around 11pm, there was the wonderful, fabulous full Moon.

So it’s a special day today as for the first time in almost fifty years both the full moon and the Summer Solstice fall on the same day. Or better put over on Time and Date:

First June Solstice Full Moon in Decades

In 2016, a full Moon, also commonly known as Strawberry Moon, will coincide with the June Solstice. The 2 events haven’t occurred on the same day since 1967 and will not coincide again until 2062.

Now technically the exact moment of the Solstice was yesterday evening at 22:34 UTC. Or to put it as it was mentioned over on EarthSky:

On June 20, 2016, the moon turns full at 11:02 UTC. The solstice arrives some 11.5 hours later, at 22:34 UTC.

I will close with the gorgeous photograph of that full moon, again courtesy of that EarthSky article.

Rising nearly full moon – near San Francisco, California – on June 19, 2016 via EarthSky Facebook friend Amy Van Artsdalen.
Rising nearly full moon – near San Francisco, California – on June 19, 2016 via EarthSky Facebook friend Amy Van Artsdalen.

I must admit that there’s a strange feeling inside me knowing that this was the last time that I will see such a coincidence of full moon and summer solstice.

Summer heat and Dogs

Hot, fine weather does carry a risk – for our dogs.

A week today will see us celebrating the Summer Solstice and for much of the Northern Hemisphere the heat of the summer days soon will be upon us. Both we and our dogs love taking a bit of sunshine but equally for both species the danger of heat stroke is not to be underestimated.

So it seemed highly appropriate to republish an article that was presented over on Care2 a couple of weeks ago.

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Five Factors That Put a Dog at Risk for Heatstroke

1383141.largeBy: Vetstreet.com May 30, 2016

About Vetstreet.com Follow Vetstreet.com at @vetstreet

Summer can be an incredibly fun season for dogs and their active owners. There are walks to go on, boat rides to take and beaches to explore!

But for all the fantastic opportunities summertime offers, there are also a number of seasonal dangers. A serious one that all dog owners should keep in mind is heatstroke. While all dogs are at risk of heatstroke, there are a few factors that can make your dog more vulnerable. From the genetic predisposition of certain breeds to the dangers some outdoor dogs face, here are five heatstroke risk factors to be aware of — and avoid.

ThinkstockPhotos-513469413-1-e1464380428868Congenital Defects or Underlying Respiratory Problems

Upper-airway problems, as seen in flat-faced dogs like Pugs and Boxers, are some of the most common risk factors for heatstroke in dogs exposed to higher temperatures, according to Dr. Debbie Mandell, staff veterinarian and adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital. As dogs get hotter, they pant to cool down, and brachycephalic breeds have a difficult time breathing so hard in hot conditions.

Brachycephalic airway syndrome isn’t the only potential issue. Large and medium breeds, like Labs and Pit Bulls, can experience laryngeal paralysis, and collapsing trachea commonly affects small dogs like Pomeranians and Yorkies. With both conditions, the dogs’ airways swell as they pant, which causes them to pant harder. That in turn increases the swelling and can create a dangerous situation quite quickly.

ThinkstockPhotos-534541239-1-e1464380439891

Not Being Acclimated to Hot Weather

That sunny weather can be so inviting that it’s nearly impossible to remain indoors, especially if you — and your dog — have been stuck inside for months. But it’s important to remember that even if you’ve been hitting the gym during the cooler months, your dog might not have built up the same tolerance for activity. And if you take him out to run or play with you, he’s not going to know when to stop, even if he reaches the brink of collapse due to heat stress, Dr. Mandell says.

So what’s a responsible dog owner to do? First of all, start with a visit to your vet, so you’re sure your dog is healthy enough for increased exercise. Second, exercise restraint when it comes to, well, exercise. Start off slowly and build up your dog’s fitness very gradually. Third, make sure you know the signs of heat stress (like excessive panting and drooling, a fast pulse and gums that have changed in color from pink to bright red) and be prepared to help your dog cool down before it becomes an emergency. If your dog vomits or has bloody diarrhea, you should call your veterinarian immediately.

ThinkstockPhotos-495804298-1-e1464380444720Being Kept Outdoors Without Access to Shade and Water

It’s not only indoor dogs who aren’t used to the heat who can find themselves at heatstroke risk — dogs who live primarily outdoors can land in trouble come summertime, too, if they’re left without shade and water. Of course, it’s best for dogs to be kept primarily indoors, but if a dog must be mostly outdoors, always provide a cool area out of the sun and plenty of fresh water.

1383141.largeBeing Left In the Car

When it comes to ways to avoid heatstroke risk, never, ever leave a pet in a hot car. The temperature inside a car can reach over 120 degrees in minutes, Dr. Mandell says. And no, cracking the window doesn’t make enough of a difference to help.

Should you see an animal locked inside a hot car, there are ways to safely rescue it. The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA recommend that you write down the car’s make, model and license plate; attempt to locate the owner; and call animal control or your local police department for help.

ThinkstockPhotos-495739266-1-e1464380465591Obesity and Thick Fur

Obesity can make dogs more susceptible to a whole host of health issues, including heatstroke. That’s because not all heat escapes dogs through the respiratory system; in fact, some heat loss occurs through the skin. But the layer of fat in obese pets can limit their ability to cool themselves that way.

That layer of fat under the skin serves as insulation and can prevent some of that heat from getting to the skin to be released. Thick fur can create the same problem, so furry dog breeds, like Newfoundlands and Great Pyrenees are at similar risk.

By Kristen Seymour | Vetstreet.com

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If any reader has further advice and tips to help others then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Picture parade one hundred and one.

Welcome to the Summer Solstice!

(And grateful for the technology giving me a window in which to write and post this.)

Only one way to open this week’s picture parade!

Rising sun over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge on the dawn  of the Summer Solstice.
Rising sun over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge on the dawn of the Summer Solstice.

Now to the second set of pictures under the theme of

Hiding in Plain Sight

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Danny9

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Danny10

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Danny11

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Danny12

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Danny13

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Danny14

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Danny15

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Danny16
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Yet another set of these incredible pictures in a week’s time; technology notwithstanding!

Summer solstice

As old as time itself!

holding-the-sun

The point at which the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator is the Summer Solstice, well it is for the Northern Hemisphere. This occurs annually on June 20 or June 21, depending on your time zone.

Here in Southern Oregon, the moment of the Summer Solstice will be 22:04 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on the evening of June 20th and at 05:04 GMT/UTC on June 21 2013 in the United Kingdom.

A quick web ‘look-up’ finds that the word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time, albeit momentarily.

At the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge in Southern England, the prehistoric monument that took Neolithic builders an estimated 1,500 years to erect, for many years the Druids have celebrated the Solstice and, undoubtedly, will be doing so again.

AMESBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21:  A man stands on top of Stonehenge as the sun rises over Salisbury Plain on June 21, 2006 in Amesbury, England.  Police estimated around 17,000 people travelled to watch the sun rise ove the 5,000 year old stone circle to start the longest day of the year. The all-night party to celebrate the Summer Solstice passed with only four arrests being made. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
AMESBURY, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 21: A man stands on top of Stonehenge as the sun rises over Salisbury Plain on June 21, 2006 in Amesbury, England. Police estimated around 17,000 people travelled to watch the sun rise over the 5,000 year old stone circle to start the longest day of the year. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Summer Solstice 2011

Let’s all pause for a moment (and my apologies for the late posting!)

The precise time of the summer solstice today is 17.16 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC).

Our sun, giver of life

In terms of local times that will be 10.16 here in Arizona and also in California, 13.16 in New York, 18.16 in London, and 03.16 (Wed) in Sydney, Australia, to pick just a few places.

What a year it has been so far!

So let’s just pause for a moment, as the Sun appears to pause, and put out our combined thoughts across this wonderful Planet Earth and pray for peace and tranquillity for all during the rest of this ‘interesting’ year.