Friday, June 21, 2013 Hail to the Sun, the giver of life!
Today is the summer solstice of 2013, the longest day of the year. It's a good day to pause for a moment and reflect upon the river of time in which we live and its rhythms and cycles. This year the actual moment was the early morning of June 21 in England and the eastern U.S. and the late pm of June 20th in the western U.S.
The Sun today, June 20, 2013, at 17:25:30 UTC, as seen in the extreme ultraviolet by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Photo by NASA/SDO/AIA Summer solstice 2013 Source link
"...the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which begins in the UK on Friday when the sun rises at 4.52am.
"The solstice marks the peak of summer and takes place when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. After Friday, the days get shorter until the winter solstice on December 21 when they start to get longer again
"The solstice begins in the east coast of the US at 1.04 am ET, but it will begin on Thursday night in places west of the Central Time Zone." source: Guardian Solstice facts:
1. North of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun takes its longest and highest path through the sky.
2. The sun rises and sets at its northernmost points on the horizon.
3. The summer solstice has one of the earliest sunrises of the year (but not necessarily the earliest).
4. Twilight in the Northern Hemisphere is longer on the solstice than at other time of year.
Summer solstice: thousands descend on Stonehenge to greet longest dayLINK
They came in their thousands. Some worshipped, others partied. Many were there simply to enjoy the atmosphere of the summer solstice at Stonehenge.
More than 20,000 people were at the ancient monument to greet the sunrise at 4.52am at the start of the longest day of the year. After a warm, moonlit night the mist and mizzle descended, making it impossible to judge the moment when the sun rose over the Wiltshire plain without an accurate watch.
But it did not matter much. "I've had a lovely time," said Belle Gay, a 21-year-old pagan from Exeter who was on her first pilgrimage to Stonehenge. "It doesn't concern me that we couldn't actually see the sun rise. That's how nature is - you can't control the elements and that's why it's all so special. It's such a beautiful, peaceful place."
The solstice at Stonehenge used to be a staging post for many hippy types heading to the music festival but Glastonbury and Stonehenge have changed over the years. Gone are the ugly clashes between revellers and police that resulted in the stones being closed at solstice.
In the 14 years since so-called managed access has been taking place, tensions have eased and the head of Stonehenge for English Heritage, Peter Carson, said he had noticed a greater variety of people attending the solstice. "We're getting more families coming and more overseas visitors. Not everyone is happy at the access but there is much less hostility."
... As the sun rose higher (and, oddly, the temperature dropped) Steve and Debbie Jones, who had made the trek from Hertfordshire, were pushing their one-year-old baby, Stan, in a buggy away from the stones. "We're not pagans, we're not hippies, we just wanted to come and have a look," said Steve. "It was a lovely evening, warm, peaceful, memorable. We'll come back."
Summer Solstice 2013: Why It's the First Day of Summer
This year's summer solstice will be followed by the year's largest supermoon. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130621-summer-solstice-2013-longest-day-sun-earth-space-science/
Summer solstice 2013: 21,000 revellers gather at Stonehenge for sunrise on longest day http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/summer-solstice-2013-21000-revellers-1974047
Solstice: definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice