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Stonehenge summer solstice: Thousands gather to cheer sunrise on longest day of year | UK News

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Thousands of people have greeted the sun with cheers as it rose over Stonehenge for summer solstice.

About 10,000 people gathered at the neolithic monument in Wiltshire on a chilly morning to greet the start of the longest day of the year.

Clear skies ensured they were able to observe the spectacle clearly as the sun glinted over the horizon at 4.52am.

The sun rises as revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle
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About 10,000 people gathered at Stonehenge

The sun rises as revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle, in Amesbury
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The event marks the start of the longest day of the year

Kate Logan, English Heritage’s director of Stonehenge, said it was “one of the highlights of the year” at the popular site.

“There was a lovely, friendly atmosphere throughout, the sun shone and the dawn was greeted with loud cheers,” she added.

Revellers at Stonehenge welcome the Summer solstice
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English Heritage said it was ‘one of the highlights of the year’
The sun rises as revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle, in Amesbury
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There were several colourful outfits on display

Stonehenge is a monument built on the alignment of the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset.

On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, the ancient entrance to the Stone Circle, and rays of sunlight are channelled into the centre of the monument.

Revellers celebrate the Summer Solstice as the sun rises at Glastonbury Tor
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The sunrise was recorded at 4.52am

Revellers celebrate the Summer Solstice as the sun rises at Glastonbury Tor
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People watch from their viewing position on Glastonbury Tor

It is believed that solstices have been celebrated at Stonehenge for thousands of years.

English Heritage used the occasion to launch its new live feed of the sky above the ancient monument, which globally shares the journey of the stars and the moon from within the stone circle.

The sun rises as revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle, in Amesbury
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Revellers cheered in the sunrise
The sun rises as revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle, in Amesbury
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A woman squeezes between Stonehenge’s slabs

Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock said she hoped the feed inspires “people all over the world to go outside, and look up”.

Summer solstice takes place as one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun and the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, ensuring the longest period of daylight for year.

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