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Summer solstice arrives early Wednesday morning

The summer solstice arrives early Wednesday, making Tuesday and Wednesday essentially the "longest" days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The solstice occurs Wednesday at 12:24 a.m. — the moment the North Pole and Earth’s tilted axis are pointed most toward the sun.

There will be about 14 hours, 56 minutes and 18 seconds of daylight both Tuesday and Wednesday in Baltimore. Starting Thursday, the sun will be up for several fewer seconds each day.

At the summer solstice, the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky, crossing Earth over the Tropic of Cancer, instead of the equator — as it does at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes — or the Tropic of Capricorn — as it does for the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice.

The summer solstice can occur anywhere from June 20 to June 22 because of differences between the Gregorian calendar and the solar calendar. Last summer, the solstice came June 20, but it will come June 21 both of the next two summers.

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