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Summer hasn't arrived this early since 1796

There's nothing like talking summer with renowned astrophysicist Dr. James Di Francesco.

"Personally, I love summer," said the director of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria.

"I would think everyone does. Who doesn't like long, sunny days."

Then the discussion gets technical.

"The astronomical start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is (today) Thursday, June 20 at 1:50 pm Pacific time," said Di Francesco.

"The summer solstice is when the sun appears at its most northern point in the sky. Because of the Earth's 23.5 degree tilt on its axis, that means we get the longest day and the shortest night of the year."

<who>Photo credit: National Research Council</who>Dr. James Di Francesco is an astrophysicist with the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria.

Di Francesco is also quick to point out that summer is arriving "unusually early this year" at 1:50 pm.

It's summer's earliest arrival since it appeared at 10:45 am Pacific time on June 20, 1796.

See, the amazing facts astrophysicists know.

In 1796, Canada wouldn't become a country for another 71 years, Napoleon Bonaparte was busy with the French Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was the president of the United States of America and Catherine the Great of Russia died.

Anyway, to put today into numbers, sunrise in Kelowna was 4:49 am, summer solstice will hit at 1:50 pm and the sun will set at 9:10 pm for a glorious 16 hours, 21 minutes and 3 seconds of daylight.

Times for all the cities in NowMedia Group's coverage areas are below.

<who>Photo credit: Daoudi Aissa on Unsplash</who>The summer solstice is when the sun hits its northernmost point in the sky.

Most people think summer always arrives on June 21.

However, it can actually be June 20, 21 or 22.

The differences are linked to us using the Gregorian calendar, which has 365 days, yet a 'tropical year' (how long it takes the Earth to completely orbit the sun) is 365.24 days.

Thus, the shift in summer's actual arrival time every year and the reason every four years is a leap year on the calendar.

Also to summer's different appearance times and dates, we can add gravitational pull from the moon and other planets and the slight wobble in Earth's rotation.

Astrophysics is the branch of science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry to seel to understand the universe and our place in it.

The birth, life and death of stars is a big part of that.

And there's no more important a star to Earth than our sun.

Just to confuse things, there's also the more recently developed meteorological summer, which doesn't vary from June 1 to August 31 every year.

It's an invention of weathermen to keep the season tidy in a three month increment, which makes it easier to keep and compare weather statistics and data.

Now that you know all the intricacies of astronomical summer, let's get to what you should be doing this season.

First of all enjoy all the daylight, sunlight and solar warmth and good vibes that comes with summer.

Use the long days to relax, hang out on a patio, go to the beach, out on a boat, garden, bike and hike, meet friends, have a family reunion, wine tour, brewery hop, picnic or watch a sunrise or sunset.

Welcome to summer!

<who>Photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash</who>Who doesn't love summer?

Kelowna

- Sunrise: 4:49 am, sunset: 9:10 pm for 16 hours, 21 minutes and 3 seconds of sunlight

Victoria

- Sunrise: 5:11 am, sunset: 9:18 pm for 16 hours, six minutes and 45 seconds of sunlight

Kamloops

- Sunrise: 4:48 am, sunset: 9:17 pm for 16, 29 minutes and 17 seconds of sunlight

Penticton

- Sunrise: 4:51 am, sunset: 9:08 pm for 16 hours, 17 minutes and nine seconds of sunlight

Prince George

- Sunrise: 4:38 am, sunset: 9:46 pm for 17 hours, 7 minutes and 35 seconds of sunlight

"Victoria, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops and Prince George may all share a time zone (Pacific), but sunrise and sunset and the actual time of daylight will vary slightly due to latitude and longitude," explained Di Francesco.

"The more north a location is the longer the daylight at summer solstice."

Thumbnail photos by Vitolda Klein and Vicko Mozara on Unsplash



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].




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