June 21, 2003
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster
The Summer Solstice occurs today at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. At that moment, the Sun's rays will be positioned directly over the Tropic of Cancer (23 1/2 degrees north latitude). It's the longest day (length of daylight period) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer. The above GOES visible satellite image was taken yesterday from approximately 22,000 miles (35,200 km) above the Earth's surface. Note that while the top of North America and Greenland are fully illuminated, the bottom of the globe is dark -- it's the first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The Arctic region (north of 66 1/2 degrees north latitude) is now experiencing 24 hours of daylight.