Brighter Days

Call it Minnesota’s version of the midnight sun.

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Path of the Midnight Sun over the course of 3 hours, South Cape, Spitsbergen, Norway.

The next 6 weeks feature the longest daylight of the year in Minnesota. The summer solstice is roughly 3 weeks away, on June 21st. That means the sun is close to its highest point in the sky, and the farthest north on its annual trek into the northern hemisphere sky.

At precisely 6:28 am CDT on June 21st, the sun will be directly overhead at 23.5 degrees north latitude. In Minnesota, the Twin Cities lies at about 45 degrees north. That means the sun will be at 68.5 degrees above the horizon on June 21st at solar noon. That’s the highest point in the sky during the year.

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Another interesting aspect of the sun this time of year in Minnesota is that the sun rises and sets north of due east and west. This is why the sunlight falls on the NORTH side of your home in June in the morning and evening. It’s uplifting to see windows and other areas that do not get direct sun most of the year basking in sunlight.

The higher sun angles are accompanied by the longest daylight. The week of June 21st features about 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight, and less than 9 hours of darkness. The sun sets in the central Twin Cities as late as 9:03 pm from June 20th until July 3rd.

June 26 Deephaven, MN

Twi: 4:51am

Sunrise: 5:29am

Sunset: 9:04pm

Twi: 9:41pm

Moonrise: 9:28pm

Moonset: 5:29am

Full Moon: 5:31am

Even more remarkable, the sunset in Hallock in northwest corner of Minnesota is as late as 9:35pm in late June! That means civil twilight provides considerable light in the sky until 10:17pm.

June 26 Hallock, MN

Twi: 4:43am

Sunrise: 5:25am

Sunset: 9:35pm

Twi: 10:17pm

Moonrise: 9:58pm

Moonset: 5:25am

Full Moon: 5:31am

Here is a great site for tracking sun and moon rise and set times for any location. It’s a great planning tool for summer vacation trips.

Enjoy the long lazy daylight the next 6 weeks!

PH

  • RalfW

    I find that the nautical twilight is a pretty good indicator of when the last of the deep indigo fades from perception in the urban environment. And in late June that’s about 10:30 pm!

  • Chris B. Critter

    At about 6:00 p.m. during standard time and 7:00 p.m. during daylight saving time, the sun is pretty much due west. It’s nearly due east at 6:00 a.m. (CST) and 6:00 p.m. (CDT).