Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

Summer solstice: How you can catch a glimpse of Mars and Venus in the sky | Science & Tech News

Pic: Stellarium web

Signalling the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of winter below the equator, the summer solstice is here.

It will take place on Wednesday 21 June at 15:57 BST.

It marks the longest day and shortest night of the year, and 2023 is expected to bear witness to a solstice gathering of the moon, Mars and Venus.

According to Stellarium charts, these will be visible in London as they head towards the western horizon.

What is the summer solstice?

During a summer solstice, there is more daylight during the day and the hours during the night are at a minimum.

“Most people consider the summer solstice to be a day, it is in reality an exact moment in time that falls upon that day. This moment comes when whichever hemisphere you’re in is most tilted towards the Sun,” the Royal Museums Greenwich has said.

How to watch

Although it may be possible to view with the naked eye – binoculars or a telescope will provide a close-up view of the Da Vinci glow on the lunar surface, enhancing your experience.

Venus can be viewed in the daytime and will look like a bright speck of white light against the blue sky.

Once the sun sets, the moon, Venus and Mars will be seen.

According to – Mars will be close to Venus – it adds: “About 4 degrees to its upper left, appearing to shine rather feebly, will be Mars. You’ll likely need binoculars to see it at all in the bright twilight even after Venus becomes obvious.”

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Celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge

People mark the summer solstice in different ways around the world.

In the UK, Stonehenge has been the centre of the celebration, as the stones are lined up to frame the rising of the Sun on the solstice.

In Sweden, the celebration is known as midsummer and is commonly celebrated in the countryside.

This traditionally involves gathering with friends and family while raising and dancing around a maypole.

During this time, people also decorate their homes with greenery and indulge in food and drink.

In the US, thousands of Yoga enthusiasts gather in Time Square, New York, to celebrate the coming of summer with free yoga.

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