ANCHORAGE — Tuesday is the summer solstice and the peak of summer daylight in Alaska.


Anchorage will gain a final 9 seconds of daylight Tuesday, topping out at 19 hours and 21 minutes. Juneau is not far behind at 18 hours and 16 minutes, while Fairbanks will experience 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight. The sun has been up in Utqiagvik (Barrow) since early May and will stay above the horizon until the next sunset on August 2.


The summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the moment in time when the sun’s rays pass directly over the Tropic of Cancer. Tuesday also marks the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. In Alaska, the solstice officially occurs at 8:24 p.m.


Areas within the Eastern time zone will mark the solstice at 12:24 a.m. June 21.


Alaska and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere will begin losing daylight Wednesday and will reach a minimum on the winter solstice. In Anchorage, that’s a loss of nearly 14 hours of daylight by December 21. However, Anchorage will still experience long summer days through early July, due to the combination of daylight and civil twilight keeping it light outside for 24 hours a day.


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