Some Common Misconceptions

Some common misconceptions about the relation between the earth and the sun include:

  1. The earth's orbit around the sun is a highly elongated (skinny) ellipse, making the distance between earth and sun vary dramatically over the course of a year.

  1. The sun is pretty far off-center within the earth's orbit, making the distance between earth and sun vary with time of year even more.

  2. The seasons are controlled by the distance between the earth and sun. During winter, the earth is farther from the sun than in summer.

  3. The tilt of the earth's axis of rotation puts the Northern Hemisphere significantly closer to the sun in June than the Southern Hemisphere (producing summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere).


To Some Background Facts