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Basic Astronomy Concepts

Season

planet Mars, South Pole, North Pole, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere

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>  Equinox and Solstice

>  Length of Day and Temperature

Season, one of four divisions of the year, defined by the position of Earth in its orbit around the Sun. The seasonsówinter, spring, summer, and autumn or fallóare characterized by differences in average temperature and in the amount of time that the Sun is in the sky each day.

The seasons occur because the axis on which Earth turns is tilted with respect to the plane of Earthís orbit around the Sun. Earthís tilt causes the North Pole to be tilted toward the Sun for half of the year, and the South Pole to be tilted toward the Sun for the other half of the year. The hemisphere that is tilted toward the Sun has a longer day, receives more of the Sunís rays, and receives the Sunís rays more directly than the hemisphere tilted away from the Sun. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, this hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun; this corresponds to winter in the Southern Hemisphere, when the Southern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. If Earthís axis was not tilted, each night and day everywhere on Earth would always be 12 hours long and there would be no seasons. The axis of the planet Mars is also tilted with respect to the plane of Marsís orbit around the Sun, so Mars experiences seasons much like those of Earth.



Article key phrases:

planet Mars, South Pole, North Pole, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, average temperature, hours, orbit, axis, tilt, Sun, rays, autumn, seasons, respect, differences, winter, fall, spring, half, divisions, summer, night, year

 
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