In the Northern Hemisphere, the reason it's so hot in the summer is because the North Pole is tilted toward the Sun! Because of this tilt, the Sun is more directly overhead and its rays hit the Earth at a steep angle. This concentrates the heat in a small area.
During the summer months the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a blanket and holds the heat. Summer begins on June 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere. Astronomers refer to the arrival of this event as the Summer Solstice. The long daylight hours during the summer months allow the Earth plenty of time to reach warm temperatures as the Sun’s rays beam down. The Sun is extremely hot because of two chemical elements, hydrogen and helium. These elements explode continually causing light and heat. The temperature on the Sun’s surface is 10,000 degrees F!
Further informationScientists believe that the reason the Earth is tilted on its axis is because it was hit by a large body soon after the Earth was formed. Since then movement of large air masses, formation and movement of continents, and lowered sea levels have also affected the tilt.The Earth is tilted on its axis by an average of 23.5 degrees.There are some words that are probably new to you in this information. These words include:atmosphere – air that surrounds the Earthaxis – straight line around which an object turnscontinents – one of 7 great masses of land on Earthexplode – to blow uphelium – a colorless gashydrogen – a colorless gas that burns easilyNorthern Hemisphere – part of the world where the United States is locatedtilted - leaning
ExplorationOn a sunny day stand in the sunlight in your backyard and notice how warm you are. Then go and stand where there is shade. Are you cooler in the shade? That is because the sun’s hot rays are not beaming directly down on you and making you feel hotter.Draw pictures of the Sun and Earth. Color the Sun bright yellow and the Earth green. Show some of the Sun’s bright yellow rays beaming down on the Earth!
Sources & links
“Ask an Astronomer for KIDS! ”“ How hot is the sun?”. Web.30 July 2010. “Why is it hot in the summer and cold in the winter?”. Web.30 July 2010. “Movement of the Earth”. Web 9 August 2010. “Temperature and Earth”. Web.30 July 2010. Thorndike-Barnhart Junior Dictionary.1997. Print. Brennen, Richard P., Dictionary of Scientific Literacy.1992. Print. “The Direction of Earth’s Rotation and Its Tilt”. Web. 9 August 2010.