The universe is planning something extra special for the first day of summer this year.
June 20 marks the summer solstice, which means this will be the longest day of 2016. The sun will hang in the sky for longer than usual, but the exact time that twilight falls will depend on which part of Canada you live in. The extended daylight isn’t the only thing to look forward to today, however, as we’re also being treated to a rare celestial event.
The summer solstice will play host to a full moon, colloquially referred to as a “strawberry” moon since Algonquin tribes of North America once believed it marked the start of strawberry season (the moon, unfortunately, will not actually appear red). The last time this occurred also depends on exactly where you live in this giant country, but it’s definitely been a while. Western and Central Canada saw a full moon land on the night of the summer solstice in 1986, but for pretty much everyone else, it hasn’t happened since 1967–49 long years.
The reason for all the extra daylight today is because the solstice marks the time when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is angled towards the sun. The downside is that from here on out, days will continue to get shorter until we hit the winter solstice on Dec 21.
So enjoy that sunshine while it lasts. Because we all know those beautiful rays will be in short supply after just a few more months.
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