Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year occurs in which month?

And the answer: June.      

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice is when the Earth tilts most toward the sun, providing long days and short nights. But it's the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where the 20th or 21st of June marks the start of winter and the shortest day of the year.

Photo credit: J.hagelüken

The continents of the Southern Hemisphere include a third of Africa, all of Antarctica, most of South America, and all of Australia. Within these southern regions, the climate tends to be more temperate due to the large amount of water which makes up most of the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, 80.9% of the Southern Hemisphere is made up of water. The South Pacific, South Atlantic, Indian Oceans and various seas – such as the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and the Weddell Sea near Antarctica – are all bodies of water which comprise the southern portion of our planet.

Image courtesy: Kiddle

The reversed seasons of the Southern Hemisphere are owed to the tilt of the Earth. Relative to the sun and the ecliptic plane, summer is from December to March while winter is from June to September. September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox. The South Pole is the central node of the southern hemispherical region.

Did you know?

Due to the Southern Hemisphere's positioning, the sun's rotation through the north causes an apparent right-left trajectory through the sky. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun appears to pass left to right.

Learn more about the Southern Hemisphere here.

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