|MadSci Network: Other|
Charlie, Good question. One thing to remember is that while the earth is revolving around the sun (in it's orbit) it is also rotatong (spinning... which gives us our days and nights). If the earth was spinning with it's axis perfectly oriented at a right angle to it's orbital axis (straight up, like a top) then yes, we would have basically the same season year round. However, the earth is tilted a bit from being perfectly straight. This tilt actually has a GREATER effect than the distance from the sun does. Infact, during our winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) we are actually CLOSER to the sun than we are in summer! The difference is that we (in the northern hemisphere) are pointed more towards the sun in summer, and away from the sun in winter! This tilt is also why the seasons in the southern hemisphere (like Austrailia) are opposite from ours! On an unrelated note, I was delighted to get this e-mail, as I am originally from Mississippi, and am working in Washington D.C. now! I have been to Ocean Springs many time, especially to the all of the Walter Anderson artifacts. I hope you are having a good summer! Good Luck! J. Scott Miller, Ph.D.
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