Catch the summer solstice June 20

The first moment of summer will occur at 7:09 p.m. June 20, say astronomers with the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute near Brevard.

At the moment of the solstice, the sun be at its northern most point in the sky. In Western North Carolina, the noontime sun will appear only about 78.5 degrees above the southern horizon its highest point of the year. What’s more, the sun rises at its most northern point along the eastern horizon and sets at its most northern point on the western horizon.

After the summer solstice, the sun begins its return to the south. The days will gradually shorten and the sun will appear lower in the sky at noon.  It will rise farther to the south along the eastern horizon each morning and set farther to the south in the west. This continues through the fall through the autumnal equinox at 10:49 a.m. on Sept. 22.  Following that date, the sun continues its southward journey until on the winter solstice (6:12 a.m. on Dec. 21) the sun reaches its most southern point in the sky.

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