Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice at the Art Museum

We welcome the Summer Solstice in a big way at the Art Museum. The longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer is marked as a solar tube in the ceiling of the Rotunda Gallery illuminates a silver dollar set in the floor at exactly noon. This year was no exception. Conditions were just right and the floor in the Art Museum began to glow as spectators assembled and eagerly awaited the noon hour. 

What is the Solstice? Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol, meaning "sun," and sistere, meaning "to stand still." As the days become increasingly longer, the sun climbs higher and higher in the sky until it appears to stand still. Once the sun has reached its climax at the summer solstice, it will begin to descend as the days become increasingly shorter in the Northern Hemisphere until the winter solstice. In the northernmost parts of Finland and Norway, the sun won't set for months.

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