Happy summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Summer will officially begin this week, although if residents of Saskatoon looked out of the window, it definitely did not feel like summer. We have had unusually wet and cold June. For the first half of the month temperatures were below average and rainfall is already well above average. Many areas in Saskatchewan have received more than 150% of normal rainfall. The old saying goes “April showers bring May flowers”. Well, wildflowers are a bit late this year.
The 2013 summer solstice falls in early morning hours on Friday, June 21st. This year’s summer solstice stands out because it will be followed by the largest “supermoon” of the year. In early morning hours of Sunday, June 23rd the moon will reach it’s full phase and will be the closes to the Earth (356,990 kilometres or 221,823 miles) than any other time this year. The moon will appear 16% bigger and 30% brighter. In case the skies are clear enough for us to be able to see it.
After the summer solstice is over in Northern Hemisphere, it is all down hill – days will be shorter and nights longer. Although this sounds bad, there is something positive in shorter days; no more waking up at 4 am to photograph the sunrise.
If you are interested in learning more about trivia behind the summer solstice, check out this article from National Geographic or Washington Post (warning – a lot of geeky numbers). CNET Australia published an article with useful tips on how to photograph the supermoon this Sunday).
For a real treat, check out this awesome video of a full moon rising behind a silhouetted group of visitors at the Mount Victoria lookout by the New Zealand photographer Mark Gee.
Update on June 23, 2013: here is one of the images I took this morning of a supermoon behind the Delta Bessborough hotel in Saskatoon. Photographed with a 400 mm lens.