the point in time when the vertical rays of the sun are striking either the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees, 30 minutes N, the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere) or the Tropic of Capricorn (23 degrees, 30 minutes S, the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere); represents the longest or shortest day of the year; in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice falls on or about 21 June, and the winter solstice on or about 22 December.