by Lucy Woodrow
The Summer Solstice of 2018 is one of the longest days in the history of the Earth. “Why though?” One may ask. Well, this is due to tidal friction slowing down the rotation of the Earth gradually over time. The oceans’ movements through tides moving and fluctuating sometimes works against the spin of the Earth. This causes the Earth, as previously stated, to begin to slow. Since it is the longest day of the year, there are 17 hours of sunlight falling onto the Northern Hemisphere, which means that the sun is providing 2,448,000,000,000,000,000 watts of energy on the solstice.
Even though there is a tremendous amount of energy going towards the earth, it is not being harnessed like it could. Should one have solar panels on their home or business or a solar field, they could harness that energy and use it to power so many different things. While the solstice does indeed provide the earliest sunrise of the year, it does not mean that it also provides the latest sunset, even though it is the longest day of the year. The word “solstice” is derived from the latin words “sol” (meaning sun) and “sisters” (meaning to make stand). This is because when the sun reaches its peak in the sky, it seems to stand still in the sky for a while before it continues on to the westward horizon.
Just because the summer solstice means the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, does not mean it’s the same for the Southern. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is the shortest day of the year and signifies the beginning of winter as opposed to beginning the summer.