Earth's Rotation around its Axis


Earth rotates around its own axis through360° once every 24 hours. This is the cause of day and night. If we divide 360° by 24, we get 15°. In other words, it takes the Earth 1 hour to turn through 15°.

The Earth's polar axis tilts at an angle of 23,5° with its orbital plane around the sun. As put by A.P. Herbert: "The Earth goes round the sun with its head on one side" (Herbert, page 39). This inclination is responsible for the climate changes and the seasons experienced on Earth.


  During summer in South Africa Earth is closest to the sun and the southern (bottom) part of Earth is tilted towards the sun; during winter it is tilted away from the sun.

Earth's movement around the Sun Declination
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© Helga Nordhoff (2001-2008)