Why are days shorter in winter?

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There is less daylight in the winter than in the summer.  You might notice that in July it could stay light out until 9:00 at night, but you can go trick-or-treating in October much earlier because the evening starts much earlier.  It's a good thing too, especially if you go trick-or-treating on a school night.

The amount of daylight each day changes throughout the year.  That's because our planet is actually tilted in space!  The Earth travels around the Sun. For half a year, where you live will be tilted more toward the Sun, giving you a longer day and shorter night.

For the other half of the year, where you live will point more away from the Sun, causing longer nights and shorter days.  This tilt of the Earth also causes the seasons.  That's why it's so cold in winter too. During that coldest season, part of Earth is tilted away from the Sun.

 

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Dawn Diary/Sunset Schedule

    Depending on your schedule and where you live, you'll probably be awake for either the sunrise or the sunset.  Pick one (or both) to keep track of them for a few days.  What time every day does the sun rise or does it set?

    Think about where you are in the year.  Are you getting closer to the start of winter (where days are shortest) or are you getting closer to the start of summer (when days are the longest).   How do you think the sunrise and sunset times will change in the  weeks ahead.  Pick some dates in the future and try to guess what time the sun will rise and set.  Check back in to see if you were right, and enjoy those sunrises and sunsets.  They make some pretty colors in the sky!  (Just don't look directly at the Sun!)

  • Sources & links

    “The Summer Solstice: Facts and Folklore.” Farmers’ Almanac. Online. 28 Nov. 2009. "solstice." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 28 Nov. 2009 .
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