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.

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Bomb at FedEx facility targeted Austin Med Spa employee, worker’s mom says

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:01 PM

A Texas state flag flies outside a FedEx facility following an explosion on March 20, 2018 in Schertz, Texas. A package exploded while being transported on a conveyor shortly after midnight. 
Scott Olson/Getty Images
A Texas state flag flies outside a FedEx facility following an explosion on March 20, 2018 in Schertz, Texas. A package exploded while being transported on a conveyor shortly after midnight. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A bomb found at a FedEx facility in Southeast Austin on Tuesday morning was addressed to an employee at Austin Med Spa, according to spa workers and the employee’s mother. 

>> Read more trending news 

Anita Ward, a nurse at Austin Med Spa, said FBI agents and Austin police told her Tuesday morning that her daughter, who also works at the spa in downtown Austin, was to be the recipient of the unexploded bomb at a FedEx sorting facility at 4117 McKinney Falls Parkway near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. 

Ward, who did not want to give her daughter’s name, said her daughter does not know Mark Conditt, who police say terrorized Austin with a series of bomb attacks that left two people dead and five injured.

Anita Ward said Conditt also did not look familiar to anyone who works at the spa.

>> Related: Austin bombings: Click here for complete coverage

“We’ve been trying to just keep it in the down low just for the FBI and police,” Ward said. “All of us here are just very thankful for the FBI and police and the work they’ve been doing.”

“I got to see a little bit of the inside of (the investigative process) and they were very quick at checking and stopping this package, and so we completely 100 percent credit this to them for stopping this from being delivered to our office,” she said.

>> Related: Austin bomber on recording: ‘I wish I were sorry but I am not’ 

Ward’s daughter attends Austin Community College, but did not attend the school from 2010 to 2012, when Conditt was pursuing a business administration degree but did not graduate.

They’re still investigating, we’re still providing them information,” Ward said. “We pretty much know as much as (authorities) can release to us. We still have a lot of unanswered questions.”

For now, Ward said she and her daughter are scared but thankful for the work of the FBI and Austin police. “We’ve both been very actively concerned and involved with this, her being targeted.”

Common Traits Of A Serial Bomber

Police said the unexploded package at the FedEx facility in Southeast Austin was one of two sent from a Sunset Valley FedEx Office store. Authorities determined it was a bomb and detonated in a controlled manner, they said.

>> Related: Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

The first three victims, all in East Austin, were two black men who were killed in the attacks and a Hispanic woman. Two white men were injured on Sunday when they accidentally triggered a trip wire attached to a bomb in Southwest Austin. Ward and her daughter are white.

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National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

Who Is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.

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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attends a meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Toys R Us closing sales: What you need to know when liquidation begins

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:48 AM

Toys ‘R’ Us May Close All U.S. Stores

Shoppers looking for a bargain lined up at Toys R Us stores across the country to cash in on the liquidation sale that was expected to begin Thursday.

However, the sales have been postponed, according to multiple reports.

WYFF reported that a sign on the Greenville location stated that the liquidation sale was postponed until further notice.

The sales are now expected to start Friday, CNN Money reported.

But no matter when the sales start, experts told CNN Money that bargain hunters should be ready to go as soon as the sales begin.

Toys R Us announced last week it was closing or selling all of its stores in the United States, but shoppers need to act fast.

MORE: Toys R Us store locator

Industry experts say shelves will clear out quickly and the sale may only last about 30 days.

Inventory on the most popular toys are already slim, and whatever is left will be the first to go.

People with Toys R Us gift cards and Endless Earnings Gift Cards should use those first.

Toys R Us will not accept them after April 20.

>> Read more trending news 

Starting Thursday, stores will not be accepting coupons or rewards.

If you have a return, Toys R Us will accept items for the next 30 days, but anything purchased during the liquidation sale is final and cannot be returned.

Amazon, one of Toys R Us’ most fierce competitors, is apparently considering buying up some of the empty store fronts once Toys R Us officially closes.

Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon would like to expand its brick-and-mortar presence by acquiring some of those locations.

MORE: What happens to Toys R Us employees, gift cards?

The Seattle-based company recently bought Whole Foods and opened its own line of bookstores and convenience stores.

Toys R Us is closing 735 locations, and will lay off about 31,000 employees.

Before you shop, check your location. Some local stores were part of the initial closing announcement and have been liquidating for weeks.

EMERYVILLE, CA - MARCH 15: Customers enter a Toys R Us store on March 15, 2018 in Emeryville, California. Toys R Us filed for liquidation in a U.S. Bankruptcy court and plans to close 735 stores leaving 33,000 workers without employment. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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Teen crashes through driver’s education office during road test

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:23 PM


A teenager in Buffalo, Minnesota, may not be road-ready, yet, after crashing into the building of the driver’s license exam office.

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The 17-year-old was taking her road test Wednesday afternoon when “she inadvertently put the vehicle in drive instead of reverse,” police said in a Facebook post.

“This led to the vehicle lurching forward when she accelerated, causing the vehicle to move forward and over the curb, striking the building,” the post said.

A photo of the scene shows the vehicle partly inside the office with bricks and shattered glass littering the sidewalk.

A 60-year-old woman, identified as the license examiner, was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

>> Related: Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

The teen driver was not injured and she wasn’t charged in the accident, but it’s a safe beat she didn’t pass her driver’s test.

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