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Ihu o Hineraumati — Summer Solstice

With 14 hours and 53 minutes between sunrise and sunset, today is Ihu o Hineraumati (Summer Solstice), the longest day of the year here in Aotearoa (New Zealand)!

The tilt of the Earth causes the southern hemisphere to be tilted toward (summer) and away (winter) from the sun at certain times of the year as the Earth travels around the Sun. The northern hemisphere is tilted the opposite way from the sun and is therefore in the opposite season. So when it’s summer in the southern hemisphere, it’s winter in the northern hemisphere and vice-versa.

Before the advent of clocks and calendars, the position of the sun in the sky and the length of the day were important ways to keep track of where you were in the year (where you were in Earth’s orbit around the sun). A solstice like today represents a turning point in sun’s position in the sky and the length of daylight and as a result, solstice has been identified and celebrated by societies for millennia.

After today, the amount of daylight will decrease until winter solstice in June. The JOIDES Resolution has been fortunate to have good weather and we’ve enjoyed the sun since the sun rose at 5:40am and hope to continue enjoying it until it sets at 8:32pm.


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Erin Todd
Kia ora koutou! My name is Erin Todd and I'm a researcher at the University of Otago studying earthquakes in New Zealand with a passion for science communication, education, and outreach. I got my bachelor's degree in geosciences at Penn State University and my PhD in seismology at the University of California Santa Cruz. When I'm not studying earthquakes, I love teaching about Earth science at local schools and in the community. I also design and develop Earth science curriculum for online courses. I love making science fun and accessible to everyone! Ngā mihi!
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