The summer solstice is Tuesday: 7 things to know about the longest day of the year

Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?

The summer solstice is upon us: Tuesday, June 20, will be the longest day of 2016 for anyone living north of the equator. If pagan rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the solstice is still pretty neat.

Below is a short scientific guide to the longest day of the year (though not, as we’ll see, the longest day in Earth’s history — that happened back in 1912).

1) Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?

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