Summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and Matthew Whitehouse says it's also a great opportunity to think about ancient and present cultures.

Whitehouse is a graduate student in the University of Arizona School of Music who also happens to love astronomy.

Right now he's combining these subjects with research on cultures such as Native Americans and Australian Aborigines.

"What I find is that especially with cultures there's this whole field called cultural astronomy which is the study of how people relate to the night sky," Whitehouse says.

"And then in ethno-musicology, really the study of music in culture, it seems like no one's ever linked the two together," he adds.

Whitehouse says Southern Arizona can be a great laboratory for anyone who wants to learn more about astronomy and other topics because of the abundant local resources.

He encourages other people to also connect the dots.