Four seasons

Four seasons

Do you sometimes wish it could be summer all year round?

As nice as summer is, we really need the other seasons as well.

Why do we have seasons?

We all know that the world turning makes day and night. In 24 hours the world turns round once.  When we are facing the Sun it is day. When we face away it is night.  Simple!

We travel around the Sun in a circle, so why does it get colder in the winter?

orbit.jpg

It's because the spin of the Earth is actually wonky. The axis of the Earth is tilted, which means that in summer we (in the UK) are leaning towards the Sun. As we travel around the Sun, we begin to tilt away and it becomes winter.

Have a look at this clip to see how the Earth's tilt changes the seasons.

This is why when we have winter, Australia has summer. Imagine having Christmas dinner on the beach! But not all countries have seasons. Countries near to the equator - the line which goes round the middle of the earth - have very mild seasons. The weather stays almost the same temperature all the year round.

Can you think why this is?

The middle doesn't tilt very much does it? This means the seasons don't change as much.

Can you guess what the seasons are like in the North and South Pole? Because they tip further towards and further away from the sun, their seasons are very extreme. The North and South Pole only have one sunrise and one sunset a year. It is dark for six months of the year and light for six months of the year.

north pole

What problems would there be if you had to live somewhere that was dark for six months of the year and light for six months of the year?

The sun seems to move across the sky during the day because the Earth is spinning. The stars do exactly the same thing. They seem to move a across the sky at night. We can photograph it happening.

Or view in youtube.

The stars seem to trail out into long curved lines. Can you see which the pole star is? This the one hardly moves at all because it is right above the North Pole of the earth.

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