What Causes Seasons?

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“Winter is coming!”

Well, winter is already here, my friend, both in that famous TV show and in our world, sadly. I am sure we all know very well why winter is coming in that TV show, but do we know why our own world has winter every year? Why do we have winter? What makes the seasons change every year? Can’t we just stay in spring or autumn and skip the other two seasons?

Apparently, that’s not possible. Planet earth, our home does not stay still. We may not notice its motion, but our home is always moving. It is not a random move, either. The world spins around the sun. This spinning movement takes 365 days in our time and it repeats itself.


Every year, even now, the world is spinning around the sun. But this movement is not like a full circle. The spinning of the world is in the shape of an ellipse, a shape that looks like the shape of an egg. So in its yearly spinning around the sun, planet earth sometimes gets very close to sun and sometimes gets away from it. This difference in its spinning changes the angle of sun rays and this difference creates different seasons.

OK, this is too much information to take in, so I’m going to stop here. But try to imagine a little ball that spins around a larger ball. This spinning is in the shape of an ellipse, but the little ball also spins around itself. So the angle of sun rays changes how hot a part of the world is.

In order to understand this better, I would strongly advise you to get two balls and try the spinning movement in the shape of an ellipse. Did you see what I mean? Well done.


Motion: Movement, the act of moving

To spin: To make a circle around something or someone

Notice: To realize or to understand something for the first time

Random: Something made or done without a plan or a system

Ellipse: An oval shape like the shape of an egg


Which of the following statements is false?

  1. “Winter is coming” is a quote from a TV show
  2. The world spins around the sun
  3. The sun spins around the world
  4. We cannot skip seasons and stay in spring all the time

In what special shape does the world spins?

  1. Circle
  2. Ellipse
  3. Square
  4. Quadrangle

How much time does the world need to complete its spinning?

  1. 9 months
  2. 3 seasons
  3. 2 winters
  4. 365 days


(3) The sun spins around the world

(2) Ellipse

(4) 365 days



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