/sol"stis, sohl"-/, n.1. Astron.a. either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator: about June 21, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, or about December 22, when it reaches its southernmost point. Cf. summer solstice, winter solstice.b. either of the two points in the ecliptic farthest from the equator.2. a furthest or culminating point; a turning point.[1200-50; < ME < OF < L solstitium, equiv. to sol sun + -stit-, comb. form of stat-, var. s. of sistere to make stand (see STAND) + -ium -IUM; see -ICE)]
* * *Either of the two moments in the year when the Sun's apparent path is farthest north or south from Earth's Equator; also, either of the two points along the ecliptic that the Sun passes through at these times.In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice occurs on June 21 or 22; the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed. See also equinox.
* * *either of the two moments in the year when the Sun's apparent path is farthest north or south from the Earth's Equator. In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice occurs on June 20 or 21 and the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. The situation is exactly the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed. At the winter solstice the day is the year's shortest, and at the summer solstice it is the year's longest. The term solstice also is used in reference to either of the two points of greatest deviation of the ecliptic (the Sun's apparent annual path) from the celestial equator.At the time of the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole is tilted 23.45° (23°27´) toward the Sun. Because the Sun's rays are shifted northward by the same amount, the vertical noon rays are directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23°27´ N). Six months later, the south polar end of the Earth is inclined 23.45° toward the Sun. On this day of the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun's vertical overhead rays progress to their southernmost position, the Tropic of Capricorn (23°27´ S). Compare equinox; see also season.
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