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Megaannum
A YEAR is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun . Due to the Earth's axial tilt , the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons , marked by changes in weather , the hours of daylight , and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility . In temperate and subpolar regions around the globe, four seasons are generally recognized: _spring _, _summer _, _autumn _ and _winter _. In tropical and subtropical regions several geographical sectors do not present defined seasons; but in the seasonal tropics , the annual _wet _ and _dry_ seasons are recognized and tracked. A calendar year is an approximation of the number of days of the Earth's orbital period as counted in a given calendar . The Gregorian, or modern, calendar , presents its calendar year to be either a common year of 365 days or a leap year of 366 days, as do the Julian calendars ; _see_ below
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Orbital Period
The ORBITAL PERIOD is the time a given astronomical object takes to complete one orbit around another object, and applies in astronomy usually to planets or asteroids orbiting the Sun , moons orbiting planets, exoplanets orbiting other stars , or binary stars . For objects in the Solar System , this is often referred to as the SIDEREAL PERIOD, determined by a 360° revolution of one celestial body around another, e.g. the Earth orbiting the Sun. The name _sidereal_ is added as it implies that the object returns to the same position relative to the fixed stars projected in the sky . When describing orbits of binary stars, the orbital period is usually referred to as just the PERIOD. For example, Jupiter has a sidereal period of 11.86 years while the main binary star Alpha Centauri AB has a period of about 79.91 years
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Earth
EARTH is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life . According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4 billion years ago . Earth\'s gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon , Earth's only natural satellite . During one orbit around the Sun , Earth rotates about its axis about 365.26 times; thus, an Earth year is about 365.26 days long. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface. The gravitational interaction between the Earth and Moon causes ocean tides , stabilizes the Earth's orientation on its axis, and gradually slows its rotation. Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets
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Earth's Orbit
EARTH\'S ORBIT is the trajectory along which Earth
Earth
travels around the Sun
Sun
. The average distance between the Earth
Earth
and the Sun
Sun
is 149.60 million km (92.96 million mi), and one complete orbit takes 365.256 days (1 sidereal year ), during which time Earth
Earth
has traveled 940 million km (584 million mi). Earth's orbit
Earth's orbit
has an eccentricity of 0.0167. As seen from Earth, the planet's orbital prograde motion makes the Sun
Sun
appear to move with respect to other stars at a rate of about 1° (or a Sun
Sun
or Moon
Moon
diameter every 12 hours) eastward per solar day . Earth's orbital speed averages about 30 km/s (108,000 km/h; 67,000 mph), which is fast enough to cover the planet's diameter in 7 minutes and the distance to the Moon
Moon
in 4 hours
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Sun
The SUN is the star at the center of the Solar System
Solar System
. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma , with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process . It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth
Earth
. Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. About three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen , carbon , neon , and iron . The Sun
Sun
is a G-type main-sequence star (G2V) based on its spectral class . As such, it is informally referred to as a yellow dwarf. It formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud
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Axial Tilt
In astronomy , AXIAL TILT, also known as OBLIQUITY, is the angle between an object's rotational axis and its orbital axis, or, equivalently, the angle between its equatorial plane and orbital plane . It differs from orbital inclination . At an obliquity of zero, the two axes point in the same direction; i.e., the rotational axis is perpendicular to the orbital plane. Over the course of an orbit, the obliquity usually does not change considerably, and the orientation of the axis remains the same relative to the background stars . This causes one pole to be directed more toward the Sun
Sun
on one side of the orbit , and the other pole on the other side — the cause of the seasons on the Earth
Earth
. Earth's obliquity oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle; the earth's mean obliquity is currently 23°26′13.2″ (or 23.437°) and decreasing
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Season
A SEASON is a division of the year marked by changes in weather , ecology , and amount of daylight . Seasons result from Earth\'s orbit around the Sun and Earth 's axial tilt relative to the ecliptic plane. In temperate and polar regions, the seasons are marked by changes in the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth's surface, variations of which may cause animals to undergo hibernation or to migrate, and plants to be dormant. Red and green trees in autumn (fall) During May, June, and July, the Northern Hemisphere is exposed to more direct sunlight because the hemisphere faces the Sun. The same is true of the Southern Hemisphere in November, December, and January. It is Earth's axial tilt that causes the Sun to be higher in the sky during the summer months , which increases the solar flux
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Weather
WEATHER is the state of the atmosphere , to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere , just below the stratosphere . Weather
Weather
refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate is the term for the averaging of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time. When used without qualification, "weather" is generally understood to mean the weather of Earth
Earth
. Weather
Weather
is driven by air pressure, temperature and moisture differences between one place and another. These differences can occur due to the sun's angle at any particular spot, which varies with latitude
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Daylight
DAYLIGHT, or THE LIGHT OF DAY, is the combination of all direct and indirect sunlight during the daytime . This includes direct sunlight , diffuse sky radiation , and (often) both of these reflected by the Earth and terrestrial objects, like landforms and buildings. Sunlight scattered or reflected by objects in outer space (that is, beyond the Earth\'s atmosphere ) is generally not considered daylight. Thus, daylight excludes moonlight , despite it being indirect sunlight. _Daytime_ is the period of time each day when daylight occurs. Daylight happens because Earth rotates , and either side on which the Sun shines is considered daylight. CONTENTS * 1 Definition * 2 Daylight intensity in different conditions * 3 Effects * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 External links DEFINITION Daylight is present at a particular location, to some degree, whenever the sun is above the horizon at that location
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Vegetation
VEGETATION is an assemblage of plant species and the ground cover they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader than the term _flora _ which refers to species composition. Perhaps the closest synonym is plant community , but _vegetation_ can, and often does, refer to a wider range of spatial scales than that term does, including scales as large as the global. Primeval redwood forests, coastal mangrove stands, sphagnum bogs, desert soil crusts, roadside weed patches, wheat fields, cultivated gardens and lawns; all are encompassed by the term _vegetation_. The vegetation type is defined by characteristic dominant species, or a common aspect of the assemblage, such as an elevation range or environmental commonality
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Fertility (soil)
SOIL FERTILITY refers to the ability of a soil to sustain agricultural plant growth, i.e. to provide plant habitat and result in sustained and consistent yields of high quality
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Temperate
In geography , TEMPERATE or TEPID latitudes of Earth
Earth
lie between the tropics and the polar regions . These regions generally have more variety in temperature over the course of the year and more distinct changes between seasons compared with tropical climates , where such variations are often more moderate. CONTENTS* 1 Zones and climates * 1.1 Agriculture * 1.2 Urbanization * 2 See also * 3 References ZONES AND CLIMATESThe NORTH TEMPERATE ZONE extends from the Tropic of Cancer (approximately 23.5° north latitude) to the Arctic Circle (approximately 66.5° north latitude). The SOUTH TEMPERATE ZONE extends from the Tropic of Capricorn (approximately 23.5° south latitude) to the Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
(at approximately 66.5° south latitude). In some climate classifications, the temperate zone is often divided into several smaller climate zones, based on latitude
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Subpolar Climate
The SUBARCTIC CLIMATE (also called SUBPOLAR CLIMATE, SUBALPINE CLIMATE, or BOREAL CLIMATE) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates . These climates represent Köppen climate classification _Dfc_, _Dwc_, _Dsc_, _Dfd_, _Dwd_ and _Dsd_. In very small areas at high altitudes around the Mediterranean Basin, Iran , Kyrgyzstan , Tajikistan , Turkey , Alaska and other parts of the northwestern United States ( Eastern Washington , Eastern Oregon and Idaho ) the climate is classified as _Dsc_ with a dry summer climate, such as in Seneca, Oregon
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Spring (season)
SPRING is one of the four conventional temperate seasons , following winter and preceding summer . There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere , it will be autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring equinox , days are approximately 12 hours long with day length increasing as the season progresses. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic. Often, cultures have locally defined names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe. Spring is the time when many plants begin to grow and flower
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Summer
SUMMER is the hottest of the four temperate seasons , falling between spring and autumn . At the summer solstice , the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate , tradition and culture. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere , it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere , and vice versa. CONTENTS * 1 Summer timing * 2 Weather * 3 Holidays * 3.1 School breaks * 3.2 Public holidays * 4 Activities * 5 See also * 6 References SUMMER TIMINGFrom an astronomical view, the equinoxes and solstices would be the middle of the respective seasons, but sometimes astronomical summer is defined as starting at the solstice, the time of maximal insolation , or on the traditional date of June 21
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