Google has denoted the summer solstice this year – the ‘official’ start of summer – with a dedicated Doodle on 21 June. The Doodle shows an adorable planet Earth cheerfully gazing up at an island-beach getaway scene on its brightly illuminated North Pole.
The North Pole stays in complete sunlight, throughout the day, yet all through the whole summer (excepting the occasional cloud cover). This has loaned the Arctic a truly adept nickname – the place where there is the “Midnight Sun”. Once the day of the summer solstice (in 2019, this day is 20 June) passes, the Sun begins sinking towards the horizon ever so slowly till the start of winter.
We’re not entirely certain its conceivable to beach vacation anywhere near the icy North Pole, where it never gets warm enough to go outdoors wearing a T-shirt, let alone sit by the beach in swimwear and get a nice golden glow. But what the Doodle appear to be celebrating is the official start of all things summer in the entire Northern Hemisphere, of which India is a part.
The day of a summer solstice happens to mark the longest day and the most shortest night in the year, with the days becoming shorter in span somewhat more consistently after the late spring solstice. This is on the grounds that the Earth has a tilt in itsaxis relative to the Sun, which ensures that the North and the South Pole are almost always at different distances from the Sun.
While the Northern hemisphere experiences the longest day of the year somewhere between 20 to 22 June each year, the Southern hemisphere at the same time experiences the opposite – the shortest day of the year marking the first official day of winter. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.