What makes our seasons change?

HIGH UP: Shooting stars and falling stars are both names that people have used for many hundreds of years to describe meteors burning high in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Ever wondered, why it’s hotter in summer and colder in winter?
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As we head into the chilly season does the Sun move further away this time of year? Not at all, it’s us that changes position in our yearly orbit of the Sun.

In fact our temperature is not really affected by distance from the Sun at all.

It’s all to do with earth’s tilt, or axis.

“When the South Pole of the Earth is tilted towards the Sun, this is our summer. Six months later, when the South Pole is tilted away from the Sun, it’s our winter, said Dave Reneke from Australasian Science magazine.

“In between these we have autumn and spring. Easy huh?”

By the way, the Earth isn’t a perfect sphere.

It’s flattened at the poles a little bit, and that makes a difference of 43 kilometres wider in the middle.

And you were worried about your own waistline weren’t you? In effect, it’s a shorter trip around the earth from pole to pole than around the equator.

IF WE can keep the clouds and rain away this will be an incredible week to enjoy some peaceful and relaxing time under the stars with a new crescent Moon.

“You might even see a shooting star zip by,” said Dave.

“They’re called ‘shooting stars’ but that’s incorrect, stars don’t fall out of the sky.”

Shooting stars and falling stars are both names that people have used for many hundreds of years to describe meteors burning high in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Meteors generally range in size from a grain of sand to a baseball.

The Earth’s weight increases by 50,000 kilograms each year from dust and meteoric material falling from the sky.

In fact, it’s enough cosmic dust to fill a six story office building! True!

There are a number of meteor showers occurring this month.

Although low in number the shower members can often be spectacular, appearing slow and bright with many displaying a yellow/orange colour. The best time to see meteors is after midnight.

AUSTRALIAexperiences the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, June 21.

At 8.34am on the east coast the Sun has reached its furthest north for the year and begins moving southward.

It’s also our shortest day, with just ninehours and 32 minutes of daylight.

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