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Stonehenge summer solstice (Matt Cardy/Getty)
Summer solstice arrives a day "early" this leap year, which gives us more time to appreciate what lies ahead: hotter-than-normal temperatures in some parts (and maybe an occasional dousing), more pests buzzing about, the Olympics, a sustained political current of hot air, and—for one delectable day—luxuriating in 14 to 17 hours of sunlight (where conditions allow). Let's look back and forward on what summer brings.
Getting heliocentric: In Latin, solstice means "sun" and "comes to a stop"—but what does it mean, astronomically speaking?
Read More »from Y! Big Story: Summer solstice’s past and forecast
As Earth orbits the sun, its axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees from its orbital plane. Because Earth's axis of spin always points in the same direction—toward the North Star—the orientation of Earth's axis to the sun is always changing...On the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice, the northern spin axis is tilted toward the sun, and latitudes north of the