Summer in the United States. Winter in Australia.

If you have a birthday in August and you live in the United States, you have a summer birthday.  Did you know that if you have the same birthday but live in Australia, you have a winter birthday?  Yep.  It’s true.

The summer months here are the winter months Down Under.  So the winter holidays you enjoy with snow and ice?  Bar-be-que and swimming time.  The holidays you look forward to for long, lazy days at the beach?  Short and bundled up down there.

How can that be?  

The Earth revolves around the sun.  That means the sun stays still and we move around it in a gigantic loop.  While we loop, we also spin on our axis – the imaginary stick that runs through Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole.  Each time we spin we move from day to night and back to day again.

The axis we spin on is not straight up and down.  It is tilted.  Because of this, the sun cannot shine equally on all parts of the Earth that face it at one time. When the part of the Earth with the United States (the Northern Hemisphere) is tilted closest to the sun, it is summer here and winter in the part of the Earth with Australia (the Southern  Hemisphere).

Can you guess what happens when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun?  If you guess the Northern Hemisphere would have winter and the Southern Hemisphere would have summer, you’re correct!

Consider This:
The months don’t change. Only the weather does. It is September in the United States at the same time it is September in Australia. The only difference is, September is the Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

Related Posts: Why is Summer Hot?

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