Polar Seasons

A few days ago we passed the Autumnal Equinox, and said goodbye to Summer in the northern hemisphere, as the southern hemisphere welcomed Spring.  This is all due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis at 23.5 degrees.  As it orbits the Earth, the tilt alternately points the hemispheres toward direct sunlight, bringing summer during that time and winter 6 months later.

Seasons in the Sun

But what about the North and South pole? What happens there? In summertime, because the North pole is actually tilted toward the Sun, the region receives direct sunlight for 6 months! The Sun just never sets!  Check out this video of a Summer day in the Arctic.

The opposite is true as well, that in Winter, the North pole received total darkness for 6 months non-stop.  So make sure you visit at the right time of year.  The poles still see analemma though, which is the figure 8 shape traced by the Sun when taking it’s picture at the same time each day.  An analemma in the Antarctic shows just half of the figure eight, since the Sun is below the horizon for the rest of the year.

Antarctic Analemma Credit: Adrianos Golemis

So if you’re planning an excursion to the poles, make sure you choose the right pole at the right time of year, so that you get some good old vitamin D, and don’t freeze to death.

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