Explained: Why Is India Facing The Longest Day Today?

Explained: Why Is India Facing The Longest Day Today?

The Earth's axis tilts approximately 23.5 degrees with respect to its orbit around the Sun on the summer solstice. Because of the North Pole's closest tilt to the sun, the sun can reach its zenith at noon, and some parts of the Northern Hemisphere have longer days.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Friday, June 21, 2024, 04:38 PM IST
article-image
Planet Earth | Flickr

June 21st is the longest day in India due to the Earth's axial tilt, which causes the Northern Hemisphere to be tilted towards the Sun during this time. This alignment results in the sun's path being higher and longer in the sky, leading to an extended period of daylight.

The significance of the summer solstice goes beyond astronomical phenomena; it influences cultural celebrations, agricultural practices, and historical observations that highlight the relationship between humans and the natural world.

Understanding The Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is an astronomical event that marks the longest day of the year in terms of daylight hours. It occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, this usually happens around June 21st each year. This tilt causes the Sun to reach its highest point in the sky, giving us more daylight than on any other day of the year.

Why June 21st Is The Longest Day In India?

India, like many other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, experiences the summer solstice around June 21st. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon:

Earth's Axial Tilt

The Earth orbits the Sun on a tilted axis. This tilt is approximately 23.5 degrees relative to its orbital plane. During June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, causing it to receive more direct sunlight. This tilt results in longer daylight hours and makes June 21st the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight.

Path Of The Sun

During the summer solstice, the Sun follows its highest and longest path across the sky. In India, this means the Sun rises early and sets later, leading to an extended period of daylight. The exact duration of daylight can vary slightly depending on the specific location within India, but generally, it's the longest day of the year across the country.

Solar Noon

On June 21st, solar noon — when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky — occurs closer to midday than on any other day. This contributes to the prolonged daylight hours experienced throughout the day.

Cultural and Historical SignificanceThe summer solstice holds cultural and historical significance in many societies, including in India:

Traditional Celebrations

In India, the summer solstice often coincides with festivals and rituals that celebrate the Sun and its life-giving properties. For example, the festival of Pongal in South India and the Rath Yatra in Odisha are celebrated around this time, marking the onset of summer and the importance of the Sun in agriculture and daily life.

Agricultural Relevance

For agrarian societies, including parts of India, the summer solstice marks an important time for planting and harvesting crops. The longer daylight hours provide more time for agricultural activities, contributing to the abundance of crops during the growing season.

Astronomical Observations

Ancient Indian astronomers and mathematicians made significant observations related to celestial events like the solstices. Their understanding of the Earth's tilt and its relationship with the Sun helped in developing calendars and predicting seasonal changes crucial for agriculture and religious festivals.

RECENT STORIES

Scientists Find Underground Cave On Moon Good Enough To Build Human Base In

Scientists Find Underground Cave On Moon Good Enough To Build Human Base In

Scientists Discover Ways To Attach Living Skin With On A Facial Robot

Scientists Discover Ways To Attach Living Skin With On A Facial Robot

In Pics: NASA Shares Mesmerizing Astronomical Phenomenon Captured Near Himalayas

In Pics: NASA Shares Mesmerizing Astronomical Phenomenon Captured Near Himalayas

Space Debris Falls On Florida Home; Family Sues NASA

Space Debris Falls On Florida Home; Family Sues NASA

What Is A Reusable Launch Vehicle? ISRO Successfully Lands RLV For Third Consecutive Time

What Is A Reusable Launch Vehicle? ISRO Successfully Lands RLV For Third Consecutive Time