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Longest day of 2019 set for June 21, full strawberry moon on 17

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Nigerians are set for another episodes of astronomical spectacles this June with the 2019 summer solstice or rather the longest day of the year on 21 and full strawberry moon on 17.

Indeed, the summer solstice, otherwise known as the longest day of the year, is almost here, marking the return of brighter evenings, festivals, picnics and barbecues.

According to timeanddate.com, around every 20 years, the strawberry Moon coincides with the summer solstice, which is either on June 20, 21, or 22.Best of all, most of these events will be visible with the naked eye, meaning there is no need to splash out on expensive equipment to get involved!

June’s astronomical events will kick off on June 10, when Jupiter will be at its closest approach to Earth, also known as ‘at opposition.’During this time, the giant planet will be fully illuminated by the sun, making it brighter in the night sky.

According to astronomy.com, while Jupiter could be spotted with the naked eye, a telescope would be needed to pick out more details, including the planet’s cloud bands, and even its four largest moons!

The summer solstice (or estival solstice), also known as midsummer, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. At the pole, there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun’s declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°.

The summer solstice occurs during summer. This is the June solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the December solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.

Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in many temperate regions (especially Europe), the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as “midsummer”. Today, however, in some countries and calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer.

Meanwhile, June’s Full Moon is named after the wild strawberries that start to ripen during this month. According to some sources, a European name for this early summer month was Rose Moon, and another was Hot Moon, for the beginning of the summer heat. Other sources quote Mead Moon as the Anglo-Saxon name because this was the time for mowing the meads, or meadows.


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