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Night and day

Google Doodle marks Summer Solstice

Night and day

Google Doodle marks Summer Solstice

Search firm Google recently uploaded one of its renowned Doodles to celebrate the longest day of the year.

For those unfamiliar, A Google Doodle is when the company changes the graphics on its Search homepage to mark an event, anniversary or someone’s notable achievements.

The first Google Doodle was created by none other than its co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and marked the Burning Man Festival in 1998. It was actually used to tell visitors that they were out of the office at this event and would be unable to deal with any issues during that time.

Last Sunday, while also being Father’s Day, was the Summer Solstice and Google marked this astronomical event with a colourful ice-cream themed Doodle.

What is the Summer Solstice I hear you cry?

The Summer Solstice marks the point in the year when, in the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day and the shortest night. To some, it is officially the first day of summer, and to others it’s the summer’s mid-way point.

Even though the Summer Solstice itself is celebrated as a full-day event, it is a specific moment in time. It happens when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, and by doing so, due to the Earth’s tilt on its axis, is the single point when the planet is getting the most direct sunlight at any one time.

Its opposite event is the Winter Solstice, which has the longest night and shortest day.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but from here on in, the days are getting shorter. The good news is, however, that most of the hot summer weather comes after the June Solstice. This is due to something called ‘seasonal temperature lag’, where the earth takes a few months to heat up, with a lot of that heat being stored in the oceans before it’s released

The next event of this kind will be the Autumn Equinox, where the day and night are at exactly the same length, which may be a time when Google will bless us with another interesting Doodle.

Mark Black

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