Astronomy
Seasons
Stars

Why does the Sun change position in the sky over different seasons?

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2014-10-14 10:33:32

The seasons are due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun.

So, it may not be surprising that the Sun's position in the sky

changes over seasons, due to the motion of the Earth around the

Sun. The explanation is simple. All stars in the sky are moving,

but the distant stars are so far away that we cannot detect

appreciable motion (even when the Earth moves around the Sun). As a

result, the positions of distant stars in the sky are fixed. At any

single moment the Sun can be projected as a dot onto the night sky

by extending the line that connects the Earth and the Sun (the line

of sight) all the way to the sky. As the Earth orbits around the

sun the line of sight changes direction and since the distant stars

are fixed in the sky, the position of the Sun with respect to the

distant stars changes.

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The main factor that changes the Sun's position in the sky is

that the earth's axis of rotation is tilted. This means that the

sun is higher above the horizon in the summer months than in the

winter.


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