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What is the summer solstice and why is today the 'longest' one of the year?

Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 9:02 AM
Updated: Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 9:09 AM


            STONEHENGE SOLSTICE--The sun rises as thousands of revellers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England, Sunday, June 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
            Tim Ireland
STONEHENGE SOLSTICE--The sun rises as thousands of revellers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England, Sunday, June 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)(Tim Ireland)

If you are looking to soak up some sun, today would be the day to do it. 

Today marks the summer solstice, and  for those in the Northern hemisphere, you will see more daylight on Monday than any other day of the year.  

What  is the summer  solstice and what does that have to do with the longest day of the year?  Here’s a quick look at what it means.

What is it?

The solstice happens when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky relative to the equator, meaning the Northern Hemisphere is tilted fully toward the sun. In fact, the North Pole is tilted far enough toward the sun to where the Arctic Circle will see 24 hours of daylight.

Where is the northern most point for the sun on Monday?  

The sun will reach its most northerly point when it hits 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude – in the Tropic of Cancer.

When does it do that?

In 2016, the solstice falls on June 20 at 6:34 p.m. ET. 

Wait, isn’t it on the same day every year?

The summer solstice happens each year between June 20-22. Why isn’t it on the same day every year? Blame it on math. The fact that the date floats is due, in part, to the difference between the Gregorian calendar system, which normally has 365 days, and the tropical year (how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun one time), which is about 365.242199 days, according to The Farmer’s Almanac. The Georgian calendar adds a leap day every four years to make up for the extra .242199. The leap day, along with other factors,  moves the summer solstice backward and forward on the calendar by a couple of days.

Why is it the longest day of the year?

It’s known as the longest  day of the year not because it’s any longer than any other day,  but because in the Northern Hemisphere,  it’s the day that  receives the most hours of daylight. It receives the most sunlight because the Earth is tilted  toward the sun for the longest time during a day.

If it is the longest day of the year and it’s summertime, why isn’t it the hottest day of the  year?

It’s not the hottest day of the year because the Earth releases the energy it absorbs at various rates – but it never releases it instantly.  On Monday, the Earth will receive the most energy from the sun, but will release that energy  in late July or August, usually. This effect, according to Weather Works,  is called seasonal temperature lag. 

What's different about this year?

Look up at the moon tonight and you will see it is full. That's the first time that the moon has been full on a summer solstice since 1948.

Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 3:33 AM

Caitlan Coleman, Family Rescued After Being Held Prisoner by Terrorists in Afghanistan

A Canadian man who had been held in Afghanistan for five years by Taliban-tied kidnappers revealed that he thought his kidnapper was joking when he said Donald Trump was president of the United States.

Joshua Boyle said one of his captors told him Trump was president just before he was forced to film a “proof-of-life” video, according to the Toronto Star.

>> Read more trending news

“It didn’t enter my mind that he was being serious,” Boyle said.

The Boyle family, including Joshua, his American-born wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three young children, who were all born in captivity, were rescued by Pakistani forces after U.S. intelligence informed them of the of the family’s location.

The family was in the trunk of a car being transferred to another location when their kidnappers engaged in a shootout with Pakistani forces. Some of their kidnappers died in the fight while others fled, but the entire family made it to safety.

Kate Middleton debuts tiny baby bump in first public outing since pregnancy announcement

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 6:39 AM

Third Child Coming for Prince William, Kate Middleton

Duchess Catherine made her first public appearance since announcing her third pregnancy in honor of World Mental Health Day alongside Prince Harry and Prince William on Tuesday.

>> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline

The duchess wore a blue frock and black heels as she attended a reception at St. James Palace, her tiny baby bump on display. The reception marks the first time Catherine has been seen in public since announcing her pregnancy in early September.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 10: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge support World Mental Health Day at Buckingham Palace on 10, October 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WPA Pool/Getty Images)(WPA Pool/Getty Images)

>> PHOTOS: Meghan Markle through the years

The mother of two suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness in her pregnancies, and it forced her to miss several engagements, including Prince George’s first day of school.

“The duchess’ condition is improving but she’s still suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum,” a royal aide told E! News. “She’s delighted to be here tonight.”

>> On Rare.us: Duchess Catherine has a new secret weapon to help aid against morning sickness

She is reportedly less than 12 weeks into her pregnancy.

The royals celebrated the impact of their Heads Together Charity that encourages people to speak out about their struggles with mental health.

Prince William reportedly spoke about how “proud” he was to be involved and credited his wife for coming up with the idea.

>> Read more trending news

“It was Catherine who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus,” he said. “She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”

Man accused of ‘marrying’ 11-year-old stepdaughter, holding her captive for 19 years

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:18 PM

Man Accused Of ‘Marrying’ 11-Year-Old Stepdaughter, Holding Her Captive For 19 Years

An Oklahoma man was arrested in Mexico earlier this month amid allegations that he “married” his 11-year-old stepdaughter in a van, abducted her and kept her captive as his “wife” for nearly 20 years. 

Henri Michele Piette, 62, is charged with first-degree rape, two counts of lewd molestation and child abuse by injury, according to Oklahoma court records. He was taken into custody Oct. 5 in Mexico, where he lived with the victim and their children for years after her alleged abduction. 

The Oklahoman reported that the now 33-year-old victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis, is speaking out about her ordeal since returning to the United States. Court records show that McGinnis escaped captivity last year with eight of her nine children and found her way to a U.S. Embassy in Mexico, where she received help. 

Her oldest child, a boy, had already run away from the remote village in which they lived. McGinnis told People magazine in August that she has since been reunited with her son. 

Piette was still at large and under investigation by federal investigators when McGinnis first detailed her ordeal and subsequent escape. 

“I knew that if I didn’t get out of there, I’d either go insane or I would end up dying and leaving my kids with that man,” McGinnis told the magazine.

She alleged in her interview that she was raped, beaten, stabbed, choked and shot during her captivity.  

Piette, who has since been returned to Wagoner County for prosecution, told Fox23 News in Tulsa last week that he’s innocent. 

“Most of it are lies,” he told the news station as he shuffled into a courtroom for a hearing, surrounded by deputies. “Ninety-nine percent are lies. I’m telling the truth.”

He also denied raping McGinnis.

“I never raped any children. I made love to my wife,” Piette said. “We were married.”

McGinnis told investigators that Piette first raped her at the age of 11 at their home in Wagoner, the Oklahoman reported. He later “married” her in the back of a van, giving her a ring.

Piette’s son told FBI investigators in January that he performed the “ceremony” for his father. The son was 15 at the time.

McGinnis told People that her “marriage” to Piette took place the day before he legally married her mother. 

McGinnis’ mother later left Piette because of abuse in the home, the Oklahoman said. She and her daughter were living at a woman’s shelter in Poteau, about 100 miles southeast of Wagoner, when Piette abducted the girl in January 1997 from her new school. 

Piette introduced McGinnis to his children as their new mother, court records obtained by the newspaper showed. In the subsequent years, they moved frequently, living in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho before moving on to Mexico.

“McGinnis stated that she was sexually assaulted multiple times a day almost every day while she was with Piette,” the court documents read.

>> Read more trending news

Piette would return to Oklahoma occasionally and make McGinnis mail letters from there so authorities would believe she was still living somewhere in the state, she told investigators. He also changed everyone’s names often to stay hidden.

McGinnis told People that, at the age of 18, she was forced by Piette to get her name and photo taken off national missing persons’ lists. 

“He parked three blocks down the road from the Phoenix Police Department, and he had three of my children,” she told the magazine. “He told me what to tell them. He said that if I didn’t come back within two hours, I would never see my children again.”

McGinnis said she walked into the police station and told officers that she had run away from home at 12 because her parents were drug addicts and that “nice people” had taken her in and raised her. Police, with no evidence to the contrary, were forced to believe her. 

She returned to Piette and her captivity, where she remained for another 13 years. In that time frame, she had another six children by her alleged abductor. 

Hostage shot by police nine times during bank robbery files lawsuit

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 11:57 PM

(FOX23.com)
(FOX23.com)

A woman taken hostage during a deadly bank robbery filed a lawsuit against a law enforcement agency for more than $75,000 after being injured. 

>> Read more trending news

Officers shot Julie Huff nine times while trying to take down Cedric Norris. Norris was supposed to be in prison in Texas when he robbed the Bank of Eufaula. 

Norris walked into the bank and shot and killed Randy Peterson. He shot another employee and then took Huff, who had been in the bank as a customer, as his hostage. 

Her attorneys say the gunfire from police left her disabled, unable to work and feeling that her quality of life had decreased. 

KOKI-TV tried to contact the defendants listed in the two lawsuits. Some have not returned calls, while others were advised not to comment on the pending litigation. 

Her attorneys sent the following statement:

Julie Huff was an innocent customer at the Bank of Eufaula when she was taken hostage. The Bank failed have proper security measures in place which caused her to be taken hostage and then severely injured. The Bank had multiple, unmonitored entrances and exits which encouraged this armed robbery. The Bank also failed to have an armed security guard which is in violation of proper banking standards. Further, the Law Enforcement officers knew Ms. Huff was an innocent hostage yet they deliberately shot her nine (9) times. Not one of the nine (9) bullets which hit Ms. Huff came from the kidnapper. All the bullets came from the law enforcement officers—one of whom shot her with an AR15. She was severely injured and has undergone many surgeries. Ms. Huff feels very lucky to be alive, but she has been permanently scarred and injured as a result of the failures of the Bank of Eufaula and the reckless and careless actions of law enforcement.