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Changing Solar System

At a Glance: Seasons in the Solar System

 Some planets in our solar system have even greater axial tilts, while others have almost none at all. MERCURY 0 degrees. VENUS 177.4 degrees. EARTH 23.45 degrees. MARS 23.98 degrees. JUPITER 3.08 degrees. SATURN 26.73 degrees. URANUS 97.92 degrees. NEPTUNE 29.6 degrees. The greater a planet's axial tilt, the more extreme its weather changes. Uranus has an extreme axial tilt, close to 90 degrees. The longer the planet takes to orbit the Sun, the longer its seasons are.

Credits


Our Dynamic Solar System
 
 
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
 
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
 
·       Amateur image of 2009 impact site on Jupiter courtesy of Anthony Wesley
·       Gemini North Telescope image of 2009 impact site on Jupiter courtesy of Imke de Pater (UC Berkeley), Heidi B. Hammel (Space Science Institute), Travis Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gemini Observatory/AURA
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       1879 photo of Jupiter and Great Red Spot from A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century by Agnes M. Clerk (1885)
·       2014 image of Jupiter and Great Red Spot courtesy of Damian Peach
·       Infrared images of Uranus from Keck Observatory courtesy of Imke de Pater (UC Berkeley)/Keck Observatory
·       Animation showing axial tilts of solar system planets courtesy of Steven Sanders, Eastern University
·       Animation comparing axial tilts of Earth and Uranus courtesy of Steven Sanders, Eastern University
 
 
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
 
 

Transcript

(SPEECH) 
 [ORCHESTRAL MUSIC] 


(DESCRIPTION) 
 Galaxies in space beyond a planet's edge. 


Text, at-a-GLANCE. SEASONS CHANGE. 


The Earth rotates. 


Text, Earth has seasons. 


Snow covers the north, then melts away. 


Earth rotates on an axis. 


Text, The seasons are caused by the tilt of our planet's axis. 


The Earth revolves around the Sun. 


Text, As Earth orbits the Sun, one half of the planet, or one "hemisphere," is pointed more toward the Sun than another. 


northern winter. When the northern hemisphere is pointed away from the Sun, it receives less sunlight. It is winter there. 


southern summer. In the southern hemisphere, it is summer. 


The Earth orbits the sun 180 degrees. 


Text, northern summer. When the northern hemisphere is pointed toward the Sun, it receives more sunlight. It is summer there. 


southern winter. In the southern hemisphere, it is winter. 


The Earth orbits the sun 270 degrees. 


Text, Spring and fall occur when the sunlight reaching the northern and southern hemispheres is roughly equal. 


Text, Some planets in our solar system have even greater axial tilts, while others have almost none at all. MERCURY 0 degrees. VENUS 177.4 degrees. EARTH 23.45 degrees. MARS 23.98 degrees. JUPITER 3.08 degrees. SATURN 26.73 degrees. URANUS 97.92 degrees. NEPTUNE 29.6 degrees. The greater a planet's axial tilt, the more extreme its weather changes. Uranus has an extreme axial tilt, close to 90 degrees. 


Earth and Uranus side by side. 


Text, During winter and summer, its poles point almost directly toward and away from the Sun. 


Uranus orbits the Sun. 


Text, summer. In summer, one hemisphere of Uranus is bathed in sunlight all day long. 


winter. Meanwhile, the opposite hemisphere experiences a long, dark winter. 


Uranus orbits the Sun. 


Text, Because a year on Uranus is equal to 84 years on Earth, each of its seasons lasts 21 Earth years.