Earth's tilt and the
seasons - what if...
worksheet other worksheets
for use with the simulation Four seasons - solstices and equinoxes; what if
from the materialworlds Solar System simulations
© materialworlds.com 2002
The simulation Four seasons - solstices and equinoxes; what if lets you adjust the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation.
For questions 1. through to 6. increase the angle the of tilt to it's maximum, so that the Earth's axis lies flat in the plane of its orbit.
1. At the June solstice:
a) what part of the world is in constant daylight, and what part of the world is in constant darkness?
b) where would an observer at the Equator see the Sun, and how would the Sun move?
c) where would an observer at the North Pole see the Sun, and how would the Sun move?
2. At the same time (the June solstice), what sort of temperatures and conditions might you expect to find:
a) at the North Pole?
b) somewhere in between the North Pole and the Equator?
c) at the Equator?
d) somewhere in between the South Pole and the Equator?
e) at the South Pole?
3. How would conditions be different at the December solstice?
4. What happens at the September equinox?
5. What temperature changes occur in different regions from the June solstice through to the December solstice?
6. Where in this world might be the least inhospitable place for life?
Now set the angle the of Earth's tilt to zero, so that the Earth's axis is perpendicular to the plane of its orbit.
7. How is this world different from our own?
Try out, or just imagine, what would happen if the tilt of the Earth's axis was just slightly different from what is now.
a) How would the Earth be different if the tilt of the its axis was slightly greater than it is now?
b) How would the Earth be different if the tilt of the its axis was slightly less than it is now?