To celebrate the summer solstice on 21 June 2017, community telescope service Slooh will host a special event featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy and other scientists to discuss this important astronomical event.
A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year in both hemispheres, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in its path as seen from Earth, as the planet orbits the sun.
The summer solstice occurs during the summer of each hemisphere and is the longest day of the year because it has the longest period of daylight. In contrast, the winter solstice, which occurs in December in the northern hemisphere, has the shortest period of sunlight in the year. It is the shortest day of the year.
Solstices happen due to the Earth's axis of rotation. The summer solstice occurs precisely when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined toward the sun. In the northern hemisphere, this tilt towards the sun happens in June, but in the southern hemisphere it corresponds to a tilt away from the sun - a winter solstice.
Bill Nye teams up with Slooh
Bill Nye became famous in the US when he presented the award-winning PBS show "Bill Nye the Science Guy", from 1993 to 1998. Each episode from the five seasons was geared to getting children excited about science, explained scientific issues in a clear and entertaining way.
Since then, Nye has published a number of books, including his latest: "Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World". He is also currently the chief executive of the Planetary Society, an organisation which sponsors projects looking to come up with innovative space technologies and advocates for humans' future in space and he has a show on Netflix.
Nye has been invited to talk about the summer solstice during a Slooh event on 21 June at 22:00 UK time. With the other guests, including astronomer Phil Plait they will discuss the causes of the summer solstice in the north hemisphere and the cultural significance of these astronomical events.
You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, interact with the community, and control Slooh's telescopes.
Viewers will also be able to watch stunning visuals of the sun including close-up views from the Prescott Observatory in Arizona.
The event will be an opportunity to discuss one of the most important astronomical events of the year - the Total Solar Eclipse on 21 August, which will be visible across the continental US.