Tilt and Movement of Earth

around the Sun

Rotation vs. Revolution

Planetary objects are constantly moving in our solar system, usually in a counterclockwise motion. When an object spins once on its axis, or the imaginary line going from the North to South Pole, it completes one rotation. The Earth completes one rotation every 24 hours.

When an object travels around another object once, it completes a revolution. The Earth revolves around the Sun once about every 365 days.


Day and night occurs due to Earth's position in relation the the sun. Due to the fact that Earth is an opaque object, or does not allow light to transmit through it, 50% of the Earth is illuminated, or experiencing day. The other 50% that is not facing the sun experiences night. As the Earth rotates, this pattern of day and night happens everywhere on Earth every 24 hours.


Seasons are also caused by Earth's position relative the the Sun. Earth's axis is tilted towards the North Star at 23.5°. As the Earth revolves around the Sun, different locations on the Earth experience direct or indirect rays depending on if the Earth is tilted towards or away from the sun. Due to the tilt, as well as the revolution of Earth, different lengths of daytime occur on Earth, allowing for longer/shorter periods of time to heat the Earth during the day and cool during the night. When the North Pole is tilted towards the sun, the Northern Hemisphere experiences summer and the Southern Hemisphere experiences winter.