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Solstice

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The astronomy is a science that is responsible for studying all celestial bodies in the universe and within the various astronomical events that occur in the sky are also studied. One of these important events is the solstice , which is the indicator of the onset of winter or summer.

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What is the solstice?

The solstice is one of the best-known astronomical events that occurs only twice a year, in winter and summer, and is responsible for marking the beginning of these seasons in the northern hemisphere.

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Definition

The solstice is an event that happens in the field of astronomy that marks the beginning of summer and winter , it is a word that is linked to the position of the sun in Ecuador . It is the time of year where the sun manages to reach its maximum position in the southern or Boreal part , thus achieving the maximum southern and northern declination with respect to the Equator.

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Solstice characteristics

Among the main characteristics that can be observed in this event we mention the following:

  • During the solstice, the altitude reached by the sun at noon is maximum when it occurs in summer or minimum when it occurs in winter.
  • The dates on which the solstice occurs in summer and winter are completely reversed in the hemispheres.
  • The sun moves away from the equator of the earth.
  • It only happens twice a year.
  • It is responsible for marking the beginning of the winter and summer seasons .
  • It is related and linked to the tilt movement that planet earth has .
  • Its name comes from Latin and has the meaning ” still sun “.
  • It was a term widely used in ancient civilizations and represented splendor, luminosity, vitality, presence of the spiritual and nocturnal world for the peoples.

When it happens

The solstice occurs only twice during the year, in the summer and in the winter. At the end of June the summer solstice occurs , if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and in winter in the Southern Hemisphere . On the contrary, the winter solstice happens inversely at the end of December .

Summer Solstice

What does it consist of

The summer solstice occurs when the sun manages to reach its maximum decline, thus managing to project its light at the maximum latitude of the Earth. In this case, the semi-axis of the planet is in a position more inclined towards the sun, at the moment in which the earth has its axis at an inclination of 23 ° 27´.  This inclination means that the sun’s rays can affect the hemispheres for a longer time.

Date

This solstice occurs around June 20 and June 22 and occurs in the Northern Hemisphere . The day that happens is considered as the longest day of the year as well as the shortest night, in other words, as the day with the longest amount of time of light coming from the sun. It is then that we observe that the sun appears earlier and sets an hour later than normal. This phenomenon has an exception, the polar zones of the earth.

Effects edit

The solstice can produce a series of side effects in people, in general , you feel more tired than normal and more hot, especially in places where the climate is hot and humid, it could even cause heat stroke and dehydration . Many are affected by temperature suffering from irritability and discomfort , on the other hand, some people may benefit as they feel a higher level of energy.

Rituals

Since historical times, the summer solstice has been celebrated. In ancient times, the Egyptian culture considered this event as the beginning of the new year. The Inca culture celebrated the Inti Raymi , a ceremony in which there were a series of offerings and sacrifices. In the UK , they celebrate what is known as ” Stonehenge ” an ancient construction that is associated with the summer solstices. In Spain , several activities are also held to celebrate this event, one of them is known as the bonfires of San Juan.

In Mexico they carry out a festival known as Chichén Itzá and in Iceland , there is a celebration on this date of one of the most important electronic music festivals in the world, an event known as Secret Solstice Festival. Many of the rituals seek to celebrate in the sun and are usually done at sunset and outdoors or on altars. Many people believe that this date is ideal to be able to invoke the powers that are granted by the air , the earth , the water and the fire . Others use the date to ask for help fromarchangels or spirit guides of light.

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is known for being the day in which the longest night occurs throughout the year and this is due to the position that the Earth has with respect to the Sun. This day is the beginning of the cold season. At that time, the sun manages to reach its maximum declination of -23 ° 27 ‘and remains in this way for several days. This phenomenon does not happen on the same day in all places on the planet, for example, in the northern hemisphere the winter solstice takes place in December , at which time the North Pole is farthest from the Sun and this day will have very few hours of sunlight. In the southern hemisphere the solstice happens during the month of June .

What does it consist of

This phenomenon consists in that the sun is placed at a greater distance from the celestial equator . Depending on the inclination of the Earth, this will be the amount of light from the sun that is received in the hemispheres. When the winter solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, the beginning of the summer season is indicated in the Southern Hemisphere of the planet.

Depending on the inclination of the Earth at the time of the solstice, the sunlight that reaches the hemispheres can change. In the month of June, the planet is farther from the sun and during the month of December, this inclination of the earth causes the sun’s rays to fall horizontally.

Date

The phenomenon of the solstice can vary in date but usually occurs between December 20 and December 23 in all places that are in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere it occurs between June 20 and June 23 .

Effects edit

One of the main effects that occur during this phenomenon is the decrease in the number of light hours per year. In some places, sudden changes in temperature can occur, which in some cases can even affect people’s health, also causing emotional disturbances . The lack of sunlight also causes some problems in plants as well as poor appetite, fatigue and irritability in many people.

Rituals

Most of the rituals that take place during the winter solstice are full of mysticism , hope and magic . For many it is a time to renew and save new energy. Many rituals such as Midsummer Night, Mondranicht, Mummer’s Day, Sol Invictus and DongZhi are common in the villages. In addition, the ritual that is related to Christmas is mainly given .

Importance

Its main importance lies in the fact that this phenomenon is responsible for marking the beginning of the winter season in the northern part of the planet. For many cultures, this date recalls the shortening of the nights and is a time in which, by tradition , it is requested by the increase and the improvement of the harvests and of the spring.

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