The cooler weather, 68 degrees, finally reached us here in Palm Harbor, Florida. Opening up all of the windows is such a nice treat and a cool way to save on energy.
Did you know that the earth's tilt is the reason for the seasons? A lot of people mistakenly believe that the Earth moves farther from the Sun in wintertime, but the fact is we (in the Northern Hemisphere) tilt away from the Sun in the winter months.
When we tilt away from the Sun, the Sun appears lower in the sky and is therefore, in the sky for shorter hours in the day. Since the Sun's heat reaches the Earth's surface for less time, the Earth never warms as much as it does in the Summer.
Try this demonstration to show the Earth's tilt toward and away from the Sun:
- make two fists, one with the thumb in, one with the thumb out
- hold both fists in front of you with the thumb facing the fist with no thumb
- the fist with no thumb is the sun
- the thumb sticking out of the other fist is you on planet Earth
- now, tilt the Earth away from the sun and then toward the sun
- repeat the tilting back and forth
Can you see how the sun appears to someone standing on a tilting Earth as higher in the sky in summer?
Can you see how the sun appears to someone standing on a tilting Earth as lower in the sky in winter?
The higher height of the Sun in summer means that the Sun will be in the sky and warm the earth for more hours of the day-- hence, higher temperatures.
Now, not to confuse you, but while the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing Summer, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing Winter.