Q:

Why do seasons change?

A:

Quick Answer

Seasonal changes occur due to differences in tilt along the Earth's axis. The Earth's axis, although a straight line, never stands directly vertical. The Earth tilts as it orbits the sun, which in turn exposes some parts of the world to more sunlight, leading to longer and warmer days, while the other side receives less light, creating darker and colder days.

Know More
Why do seasons change?
Credit: Dawn Ellner CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Despite the Earth tilting on its axis, the axis always remains the same distance from the sun. Areas of the Earth receive less light or more light depending on its position relative to the sun and degree of axis tilt. Some regions receive more sunlight year-round, primarily the equatorial regions. However, other areas receive equal amounts of light and darkness, causing four distinct seasons.

Regardless of weather patterns, the Earth divides into a northern and southern hemisphere. These hemispheres experience opposite seasons: the summer months in the northern hemisphere correspond with winter months in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. Summer occurs in one hemisphere when the sun shines directly on that part of the Earth, exposing it to more intense and prolonged light. The other half, meanwhile, receives indirect and less powerful sunlight, creating winter conditions. In the fall and spring seasons, the two hemispheres receive equal amounts of sunlight, which moderates the amount of light and temperatures.

Learn more in Months & Seasons
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do the seasons happen?

    A:

    The seasons occur because of Earth's tilt on its axis. The axial tilt of 23.5 degrees from the vertical axis influences how much sunlight the northern and southern hemispheres receive relative to one another. This in turn determines the length of day and night, average temperature and other aspects of climate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes the different seasons on Earth?

    A:

    The Earth's tilt on its axis with respect to its orbital plane is the cause of the different seasons experienced annually. When the Earth is tilted toward the sun, it causes the summer season in that particular hemisphere. Winter is consequently caused by the Earth titling away from the sun.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is June 21 the longest day?

    A:

    The summer solstice is the longest day of the year because the Earth's tilt is greatest toward the Sun on that day. The axis of the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees from the vertical as it follows its orbital path. This means that for part of the year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted closer to the Sun, giving that half of the planet more daylight per revolution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What makes the seasons change?

    A:

    The Earth experiences seasons because its axis is tilted, and as it rotates, sometimes a region is tilted towards the sun. In the northern hemisphere, when the Earth is closest to the sun, the region will experience winter, and when it is furthest away, it will experience summer.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore