Many people assume that the summer is hotter because the Earth is closer to the Sun. While, in winter, Earth is the furthest from the Sun. Although this concept seems logical, but it is erroneous. The Earth’s orbit is a little lopsided. The Earth is closer to the Sun at certain periods of the year than at others. In the Northern Hemisphere, however, winter occurs when the Earth is closest to the Sun and summer occurs when it is farthest away! When compared to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, the variation in Earth’s distance during the year has little impact on our weather. Here we will learn that what causes seasons on earth.
What causes seasons on earth?
The Earth’s axis is an imaginary pole that runs from top to bottom across the center of the planet. Every day, the Earth completes one complete rotation around this pole. That is why we have day and night, and why each portion of the Earth’s surface experiences both. Since the Earth’s axis does not stand up straight as it is tilted by certain angle, thus the tilt of earth causes seasons.
The North Pole tilts toward the Sun at times (around June), and the South Pole tilts toward the Sun at other times (around December). Thus the Northern Hemisphere experiences summer in June because the Sun’s rays strike that region of the globe more directly than at any other time of the year. Because it is the South Pole’s turn to be turned toward the Sun in December, it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Seasons on earth
Our planet earth has four seasons of the year: spring, autumn, summer and winter. Earth has seasons because something extremely large struck the newborn Earth and threw it off kilter at some point in its lengthy history. As a result, instead of revolving with its axis perpendicular to its orbital plane, it rotates at a 23.45 degree angle. In addition to knock away a portion of Earth, the massive object also knocked out a chunk of our Moon. As a result, the North Pole tilts toward the Sun at times (such as in June) and the South Pole tilts toward the Sun at other times (like in December). As a result, the seasons exist. Because the Sun’s rays hit that region of the Earth more directly than at any other point in Earth’s orbit, June is summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Because it is the South Pole’s turn to be turned toward the Sun in December, it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
The distance between the Earth and the Sun has nothing to do with the seasons. If this were the case, the northern hemisphere would be hotter in January than it is in July. Instead, the seasons are generated by the Earth’s tilt on its axis, which is 23.5 degrees on average.
What is perihelion and aphelion?
Our Sun is orbited by the Earth in an elliptical orbit. As a result, the Earth’s closest point to the Sun (Perihelion) is in January, and its furthest point is in July (Aphelion). However, the difference in distance is insufficient to make a significant impact in our climate. This is why the Earth’s 23.5-degree tilt is so crucial in determining the seasons. The Earth is tilted so that the Sun lies directly above the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees north latitude near June 21st, the summer solstice. The northern hemisphere is thus placed in a more direct route of the Sun’s radiation.
Because there is less distance to go through the atmosphere, less sunlight is scattered before reaching the ground. Furthermore, the high light angle results in extended days. The converse is true in the southern hemisphere, where short days are caused by the low sun angle. Furthermore, because the energy must travel through more of the atmosphere before reaching the land, a considerable portion of the Sun’s energy is scattered before reaching the earth.
What causes the cycle of seasons on earth?
The North Pole is tilted toward the Sun around the June solstice, allowing the Northern Hemisphere to receive more direct sunlight. This is why the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months are June, July, and August. During the months of June, July, and August, the Southern Hemisphere is pointing away from the Sun, creating winter. The Southern Hemisphere’s summer months are December, January, and February, when the South Pole is tilted toward the Sun and the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away.
To summarize, the seasons change due to two factors. To begin with, the Earth revolves around the Sun. Second, the Earth’s rotational axis is tilted. The Earth rotates in its axis. From the South Pole to the North Pole, this imaginary line runs. The Earth’s axis, however, is not vertical. It’s actually inclined at a 23.5-degree angle. As it orbits the Sun, the planet is always inclined in the same direction. It means that at different times of the year, different regions of the earth are tilted toward the Sun. It’s also why different places of the earth have distinct seasons.
There aren’t four different seasons in every corner of the world. However, they all have seasonal variations. The seasons vary the amount of daylight and the temperature as you go closer to the North and South Poles. Summer has longer days. Days are always roughly 12 hours long near the Equator. However, there is frequently a wet and dry season in these places.
How are seasons different in the northern and southern hemispheres?
Seasons occur at different times in various places of the globe. As the Earth spins around the Sun, its tilt remains constant. However, the area of the planet that receives the most direct sunlight shifts. From September to March, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. As a result, the Sun does not provide as much light and heat the planet’s northern half. Autumn and winter are the result of this. The Southern Hemisphere is inclined towards the Sun during the same months. As a result, the southern hemisphere of the earth experiences spring and summer.
Do other planets have seasons?
Seasons exist on other planets as well. However, the duration and intensity of each season differs from one planet to the next.
- Seasons on Earth last between 90 and 93 days.
- Seasons last between 55 and 58 days on Venus.
- On Mars, the seasons change every six months. Summer is 199 days long while winter is 146 days long.
- Seasons endure around seven years on Saturn.
- You’d have to wait more than 40 years for the seasons to change if you are on Neptune!