Differentiate between the summer and Winter SolsticeCBSE Class 6 Geography NCERT
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Differentiate between the summer and Winter Solstice.CBSE Class 6 Geography NCERT

From Chapter 3 –MOTIONS OF THE EARTH


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Winter Solstice

Around December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere and June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere is the date of the winter solstice. The earth, tilted at an angle of about 23.5 degrees away from the sun, is at its maximum axial tilt in that direction. The time at which this occurs is the actual solstice. At noon, the sun will be above the horizon at its lowest altitude of the year directly above the Tropic of Capricorn, latitude 23.5 degrees north. South of the equator, the sun will be directly above the Tropic of Cancer, latitude 23.5 degrees south. Daylight will be at its minimum, making this the shortest day and longest night of the year. The poles at this time receive 24 hours of darkness. This does not mean that the sun will rise at its latest time and set at its earliest nor is it the coldest day of the year. During winter the sun’s rays are hitting the earth at oblique angles therefore the energy is less concentrated than in summer and colder temperatures abound. Thanks to the earth’s rotation, the days will gradually become longer, as the sun moves higher in the sky until the summer solstice.

Summer Solstice

In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs around June 21 and in the Southern Hemisphere around December 21. The earth, tilted at an angle of about 23.5 degrees towards the sun, is at its maximum axial tilt in that direction. Reaching Zenith at noon local time, the sun will be at its most northern point in the sky, its highest altitude of the year. South of the equator, the sun will be directly above the Tropic of Capricorn and in the north directly above the Tropic of Cancer. At this time, the poles receive 24 hours of sunlight. The longest day and shortest night of the year signifies that summer has arrived. Because of the axial tilt, the sun’s energy will be more concentrated during the following few months and as the sun continues on its course, it will gradually become lower in the sky until the winter solstice.


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