As we travel our elliptical orbit around the sun, we experience the four seasons. This is because of Earth’s axial tilt. The North Pole always points to Polaris (the North Star), so as we orbit, the noontime sun moves higher or lower in our skies. The day on which it reaches the furthest point north in the Northern Hemisphere is called the Summer Solstice.

When the sun is higher, you experience summer. More photons from the sun reach a smaller area on the ground, so we receive the most heat in the summer. It has nothing to do with how close Earth is to the sun in its orbit. In fact, we are closest in the Northern Hemisphere during our wintertime.

In 2020, the Summer Solstice was June 20. This is traditionally a season of celebration and much romance.

Sadly, the observatory continues to be closed due to the virus.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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