At 11:14 today the solstice, that is the moment in which the Sun, in the course of its apparent motion along the Zodiac, will reach its northernmost position. “It will mark the start of the summer season for the Northern hemisphere,” observes astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, scientific director of the Virtual Telescope.
“The Sun will rise at 5.37 am and set at 8.51 pm”, the Italian Amateur Astrophiles Union (Uai) notes on its website and, with a duration of 15 hours and 14 minutes, June 21 will be the longest day of the year. “At noon of solar time (or one of the daylight saving time currently in force) the Sun reaches the point of maximum elevation on the horizon”, still observe the amateurs of the UAI. “The height reached by the Sun continues – depends on the latitude: in Rome at the peak it reaches about 71 degrees and 30 minutes, in Milan the maximum height is 68 degrees (3 degrees and 30 minutes lower than in Rome), in Palermo instead it exceeds 75 degrees “. On 21 June, therefore, the Sun will remain the maximum number of hours above the horizon while the night will remain at the minimum of the year.
“Then, on its apparent path along the ecliptic, that is, along the projection of the Earth’s orbit into the sky, the Sun will begin its descent towards the South. At first slowly and then in a crescendo”, observes Masi, “Following its rapid ascent that began after the spring equinox, adds the astrophysicist, the Sun has reached the highest side of the ecliptic and from now on will begin its descent towards the point that will mark the autumn equinox “.
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