The Earth’s relationship with the sun creates the four seasons and day and night. They are all caused by the rotation of the Earth on its invisible axis. Day and night are caused by the rotation this axis as it turns towards and away from the sun and the seasons are caused by this axis rotation and the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. What are the SEASONS?
There are four seasons in a year, about every 365 days. The season are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In the spring, the weather is warmer and sometimes wet. This is the time when seeds begin to grow and plants begin to bud. The animals that hibernate during the cold wake up and the animals that migrate begin to return for the warm weather. Many animals chose to have their new babies during this time. It’s a time of growth. In the summer, temperatures get to the hottest they will be all year. Sometimes they get so high they cause droughts. Some areas receive more rainfall and some receive less. In the areas with less rain and droughts, fires and heat waves may become a problem. Summer is a great time for swimming and going on vacation. In the autumn, some call it fall, it begins to cool off. The leaves on the trees begin to change color from green to the colors of fall (red, orange, yellow, and brown). Other plants may become inactive and “go to sleep”. Some animals prepare themselves for the colder weather by gathering food and traveling to warmer climates. This is a time of harvest and many cultures celebrate with feasts and celebration. In the winter, the temperatures drop. Some areas may experience snow or icy weather. In some areas temperatures drop below freezing, and in others temperatures will just become very cold. Animals stay warm and some change the way they look to adapt to the colder weather. Why do seasons occur?
This season cycle is caused by the Earth’s tilt toward the sun. The Earth rotates on an invisible axis and that axis points towards the sun at different times of the year. Depending on the time of the year, the northern or southern axis is closest to the sun. The hemisphere that is tipped towards the sun during this time is experiencing summer, whereas, the hemisphere that is tipped away is experiencing winter. At other locations the axis is not tilted towards the sun but instead is parallel to it. This is when spring and autumn occur. There are four significant days during the Earth’s yearly journey; they are the summer and winter solstice and the vernal and autumnal equinox. The summer solstice is the longest day and shortest night of the year. The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the northern hemisphere the summer solstice occurs around June 21st and the winter solstice occurs around December 21st. In the southern hemisphere the summer solstice occurs around December 21st and the winter solstice occurs around June 21st. When the summer solstice occurs in one hemisphere the winter is occurring in the other. The equinoxes happen when Earth’s axis is pointed parallel to the sun. During the equinox the day and night are close to equal. In the northern hemisphere the vernal, or spring, equinox takes place around March 20th and the autumnal equinox takes place around September 20th. In the southern hemisphere they are opposite of the northern hemisphere. What is day and night?
Day is when the sun is shining on one side of the Earth and it is light outside. Night is when the sun is shining on the opposite side of the Earth and it is dark outside. Daytime is when we do things like go to school, work, and play outside. Night is when we sleep and do activities that require dark. Both day and night happen because the Earth rotates on an invisible axis. One rotation takes 24 hours and at the equator the Earth is rotating at a speed of about 2200 kilometers per hour! Why does DAY occur?
During the day it appears that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Even though it looks like it, the sun never moves. The Earth is actually rotating on a slightly tilted axis, about 23.5 degrees. Its takes 24 hours, or what we call one-day, to complete this rotation. The parts of the world that are in daylight get warmer throughout the day because of the heat energy of the sun. Why does NIGHT occur?
During the night the suns appears to set and the sky falls into shadow and goes dark. Because of the Earth’s rotation the sun is now shining on the opposite side of the Earth, so they are now having day while the dark side is having night. During the night the Earth gradually loses the heat that it absorbed during the day. Facts about the SEASONS:
The effect of the temperature change during the four seasons is less dramatic near the equator and at the north and south poles. This is because the equator receives about the same about of sunlight all year, while the poles receive no sunlight during their winter months so they stay frozen.
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