Even though it is quite a common phenomenon, not many people are aware of the fact that there is something like the longest and the shortest day of the year. Technically put, a ‘day’ is the period of 24 hours, wherein the Earth completes a single rotation. Colloquially, however, the term is used to refer to the period between the sunrise and sunset, when it is bright outside. (In contrast, the term ‘night’ is used to refer to the period between the sunset and sunrise, when it is dark outside.)
On June 20th, 2016, the sunrise is scheduled for 05:47 and sunset for 19:59; which amounts to 14 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. The same was 9 hours and 18 minutes for January 1, 2016, (sunrise – 07:20 and sunset – 16:39), and will be 9 hours 28 minutes for December 1, 2016 (sunrise – 07:01 and sunset – 16:29). As you see, the length of a day increases and decreases over the course of a calendar year. Starting from January, it continues to increase till June 21st (at times June 20th or 22nd.) From this particular day, it starts decreasing, and continues to decrease till December 21st (at times December 20th or 22nd).
Summer Solstice and the Longest Day of the Year
Basically, days and nights are caused due to the rotation of the Earth, with the side facing the Sun experiencing day and other side experiencing night. As the Earth is tilted on its axis at an angle of 23° 26′, at one point it aligns in such a position that it is either inclined towards or away from the Sun. Such alignment, wherein the apparent position of the Sun is either perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn, is