Glossary term: Seasons
Description: Earth's axis is not perpendicular to Earth's orbit around the Sun, but inclined at an angle of 23.4 degrees. In consequence, the apparent position of the Sun in the sky at a particular time of day, varies over the year. Whenever the Sun is, on average, higher in the sky, more sunlight reaches a given area of ground. Over the year, this leads to warmer and cooler stretches of time, more pronounced for regions farther away from Earth's equator, which are called the seasons. Northern hemisphere seasons are opposite to southern seasons: Northern summer, the three months centered on June 21 when the northern hemisphere is tilted maximally towards the Sun, is southern winter, with the southern hemisphere tilted away, and vice versa for southern summer as the three-month period around December 21. Many parts of the Earth close to the equator have seasons that are different from the summer and winter pattern seen at temperate and arctic latitudes. It should be noted that the duration, beginning, and end of each season can be influenced by cultural practices and time period.
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