Sun rises at Stonehenge as 2024 summer solstice approaches its close

Spectators gathered at Stonehenge early on Friday 21 June to watch the first sunrise of the summer.

Marking the summer solstice, crowds flocked to the Wiltshire site at dawn to witness the event.

The summer solstice occurs for Earth’s upper half when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted most closely toward the sun.

This also marks the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Stonehenge was built on a windswept plain in southern England in stages starting 5,000 years ago.

Its origin and purpose remain something of a mystery though the stone circle aligns with the summer solstice sunrise and winter solstice sunset, drawing crowds of spiritualists, druids and sun worshippers.