It’s here! Solstice, full moon marked summer’s official start

The days will begin to get measurably shorter next week

FILE - In this June 21, 2015, file photo, the sun rises as thousands of revelers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England. The solstice occurs Monday, June 21, 2016, at 6:34 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — If the extreme heat baking much of the country wasn’t enough of an indicator of summer’s arrival, Mother Nature made official on Monday when the summer solstice marked the start of the season.

In the United States, summer began at 6:34 p.m. on the East Coast.

“The Earth has arrived at a point around the sun that we receive the most sunlight,” said Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia.

Monday was the day that the Northern Hemisphere sees more hours of daylight than any other.

The days will begin to get measurably shorter next week. The number of hours of daylight will continue to shrink until December 21st, the winter solstice.

A full moon also coincides with Monday’s solstice. June’s full moon has traditionally been nicknamed the strawberry moon, a name Pitts said alludes to strawberry harvest season.

The moon appeared low in the sky for much of the night and took on an amber hue because of atmospheric conditions.

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