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Summer Solstice 2012: June 20 Marks First Day Of Summer, Longest Day Of The Year (PHOTOS)

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Months of warm weather, water sports and barbecues are nearly upon us, with the first day of summer on the horizon.

Wednesday June 20, 2012 at 7:08 p.m. EDT will mark this year's summer solstice, the exact time when the sun is the farthest north in the sky and directly above the Tropic of Cancer.

Even though the summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer, it doesn't tend to be the warmest.

But while those in the Northern Hemisphere cover up with sunscreen, residents in the Southern Hemisphere will be wrapping up in their warm clothes in honor of the winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year and official start of winter.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the word "solstice" is derived from the Latin word "solstitium." "Sol" means "sun," while "stitium" means "to stop," as the sun appears to stop its seasonal progression across the sky before it begins to recede southward in the ensuing months.

Eager for summer? Check out some summery photos in the slideshow below, and submit some of your own images.

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