The Reasons for the Seasons

The second conceptual objective, I can explain how planets have seasons, has been the focal point in class recently. In class we discussed what causes the seasons here on Earth. Earth’s seasons causes are somewhat comparable to those of other planets. However, seasons on other planets are much more dramatic and intense. The article I chose, goes in depth about this concept. A common misconception about the cause of seasons is the distance the Earth is from the sun. Many people believe that the distance the Earth is from the sun is the main cause of the seasons we experience. In class we learned that this is not true. The tilt of the Earth is the main cause of the seasons. The tilt of the Earth ultimately dictates the amount of time the sun is above the horizon in a given day. The tilt also determines the intensity of the suns light. The article I chose, “How the Seasons Shift on Mercury, Venus and Mars”, closely relates to the conceptual objective 2. The Earth has a tilt of 23.5 degrees which, as discussed, is the main reason for the seasons. Each planet in our solar system also experiences seasons, each much different than the other planet. This article also discusses intensity of the sun and the amount of hours the sun is in the sky, closely relating to our discussions in class. The article then begins to describe the seasons on Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Mercury is the only planet in our solar system without any tilt. However, its orbit creates its own version of seasons. The temperature on Mercury can range from -200 degrees Fahrenheit to 800 degrees Fahrenheit depending on its distance from the sun, unlike the cause of seasons here on Earth. Venus has a tilt of only 2 degrees, with a near constant temperature of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, Mars is tilted 25 degrees causing very diverse seasons. Mars’ orbit contributes to seasons that last different times in each hemisphere. This article was very informative and had many notes that were very comparable to what we exercised in class. Before we started to discuss this conceptual objective in class, I was under the assumption that the reason for the seasons was Earth’s distance from the sun. Now, I fully understand the cause of the seasons here on Earth as well as other planets. This article also discussed planetary seasons, relating to our second conceptual objective. Therefore, article did a great job confirming and summarizing my new knowledge on the cause of seasons.