April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Say the word “angles” to a class of 10 year olds and everyone sighs! But without certain angles, life would be very different.
Think about this angle: 23.4 degrees. That is the size of our Earth’s axial tilt. Earth isn’t upright as it travels round the Sun; instead, it has a slight lean. And it’s quite a tilt – the Leaning Tower of Pisa only has a tilt of 4 degrees, so it’s pretty straight in comparison!
That angle of 23.4 degrees is more than just an interesting fact. Without that angle of tilt, we would not get our seasons. During summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun, so the Northern Hemisphere gets more sunlight and warmth than the Southern Hemisphere. Then, in winter the North Pole is tilted away from the Sun, so there is less sunlight and it becomes much colder in the Northern Hemisphere. And, of course, during autumn and spring, both hemispheres are receiving equal sunlight.
Yes, we enjoy the variation of the seasons, but more than that they are vital to our survival. If the Earth’s tilt was different, we would not get the same regulation of temperature that we have now. The extremes caused by more or less tilt would make life very difficult – impossible in certain parts of the Earth. Not just that, without seasons we would not be able to grow food in the same way. Just think about how important it is to have the variations that make seed germination and plant growth possible. Without the seasons, food production would be seriously affected.
So, yes, angles may be incredibly boring when you’re 10! But, maybe certain angles need a little respect every now and then!