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It's officially the longest day of the year in Cook County: here's what it means

Jun 21, 2023 08:37AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Dawid ZawiƂa

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - June 21, 2023

If you step outside at 9:58 am (central time) on June 21, 2023, you'll be experiencing the point when the earth is tilted at it's furthest point towards the sun (versus any other time of year). 

This moment occurs on what scientists refer to as the summer solstice. The day also marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Those in the southern hemisphere are experiencing shorter days. 

Related: Good Harbor Hill Players celebrate change with the 2023 Summer Solstice Pageant

In Cook County, we get to enjoy a whopping 16 hours of daylight on June 21. And yes, after today, the days will slowly start getting shorter. 

The reason we have solstices and equinoxes (and seasons) is that the earth is tilted on an axis. As the earth moves around the sun, that tilt shifts. The image below provides a visual representation of the earth's tilt compared to the sun. 

 Image: NASA

For many, the solstices and equinoxes are about more than just the amount of daylight we receive. Many cultures and religions celebrate these days throughout the year. 

You can find some specific summer solstice traditions here. 

Related: The earth officially reaches perihelion on January 4, 2023 in Cook County, Minnesota. What the heck does it mean?

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