Monday, September 22, 2008

The Seasons of Change..............

As of 10:44am Central Time, we said good bye to the Summer of 2008. It is at this time we experience the Autumnal Equinox marking the beginning of Fall. Today the sun’s direct rays hit the Earth at the Equator and continue to move south until the first day of winter, when they begin to move back to the north. The sun will set today at the North Pole and will not rise until the first day of spring 2009, leaving the North Pole with six months of darkness. At the same time, the sun will rise at the South Pole and not set until the first day of spring. Another interesting fact, places along the Arctic Circle will lose around 15 minutes of daylight per day until the first day of winter, when the sun will set and not rise for nearly 24 hours. At the same time, places near the equator in the northern hemisphere will lose only a few seconds of daylight per day until the first day of winter. This is all caused by the 23.5° tilt to the Earth’s axis, which leads to the seasons we see throughout the year. If the Earth did not have this tilt, we would have no seasons on Earth and the weather would be, well, kind of boring. So nights are getting longer, temperatures will begin to drop, and it won’t be long before winter is knocking on our door.

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