Summer solstice 2022 celebrated on Earth and in space (photos)

People gather for sunrise at Stonehenge, on June 21, 2022 in Wiltshire, England.
People gather for sunrise at the famous English site Stonehenge on June 21, 2022 — the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. (Image credit: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

People around the world celebrated the summer solstice today (June 21), as did some satellites in space.

The June solstice (or summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere sees the sun reach its highest and northernmost point in the sky, providing maximum daylight hours. The Southern Hemisphere gets the opposite effect as winter begins.

Solstice watchers at Britain's Stonehenge (opens in new tab), a monument built thousands of years ago, perhaps to track solstice events, were among people around the world celebrating the moment summer came at 5:14 a.m. EDT (0914 GMT), as you can see in the picture above.

From space, the European Space Agency's Meteosat captured our planet just hours before the official moment of solstice came. Meteosat monitors the weather, climate and the environment of Earth from space.

Related: The brightest planets in June's night sky: How to see them (and when)

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Skywatchers around the world also took a few moments to reflect on the sun, its place in our universe and the solstice's importance in their own lives. Some gathered at large monuments to celebrate, while others had more personal touches such as going out to sea solo to see the rising sun.

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In June, the northern half of Earth is tilted toward the sun, with the Northern Hemisphere receiving the most direct angle of sunlight during the solstice. 

To see how many hours of daylight you receive on solstice day, you can use The Farmer's Almanac Sunrise and Sunset Calculator (opens in new tab).

If you want to catch the sun for yourself using skywatching gear, you can get some help for safe solar observing with guides such as how to photograph a solar eclipse safely. Our guides on the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography can also help you find the camera gear you need to capture your own snapshots.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace