Summer solstice 2021 arrives today at 11:31 pm ET. A solstice occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice each year, once in the Northern and once in the southern Hemisphere. each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For the Northern hemisphere today, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. Starting tomorrow, days will begin losing seconds of daylight over time before the darkest day of the year is reached in winter.
Due to this solstice and the Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the Sun at 23.44°, and the the Sun’s declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°, the North Pole will see 24 hours of sunlight today while the South Pole will see 24 hours of darkness today. While Utqiagvik, Alaska will also see 24 hours of sunlight, New York City will see 15 hours 6 minutes worth while Los Angeles will see 14 hours and 26 minutes.
Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in places like Europe, the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as “midsummer”. Today, however, in some countries and calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer.