What are seasons?

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Around the world, people divide up the year into four parts called seasons. We call them Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Each season has different precipitation, temperatures and amounts of sunlight that make them special. For example, summer usually has the hottest temperatures and the most hours of sunlight per day.

However, all places on the planet don't experience the same seasons at the same time! In fact, when it is summer on the top half of the earth, it is winter on the bottom half. (The two halves are divided by the equator.) So what makes the seasons happen at different times?

Tilt-a whirl: The earth rotates around the sun every year. However, the earth doesn't stand straight up. Instead, it tilts to the side 23.45 degrees. This tilt changes the amount of direct sunlight that we get as the earth moves around the sun. For example, in North America we get the least amount of direct sunlight in the winter while Australia is getting the most direct sunlight they get all year- making it summer.

 
by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

     

     

    Fruit of the sunSince in can be tough to picture all of this in your head, let's see if you can make your own earth and sun out of a bowl of fruit! Take a lemon- that's your sun- and it goes in the middle. Now, take an orange- let's make that Earth. See how the orange has the spot on the top where it was connected to a tree, kind of like a belly button? Instead of making the orange going straight up and down, tilt the button to the right a little bit, just like the earth tilts 23.45 degrees. Now practice moving the earth/orange around the sun/lemon and imagine rays of sun coming out of the lemon. Where do they make contact with the earth?

     

     

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