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Animation showing monthly changes on the Earth's surface over a complete year.
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NASA's Earth Observatory

North and South: Opposite Seasons

NASA's Earth Observatory has recently started making images of the entire surface of the Earth every month. There are no clouds in the images because they combine many pictures taken at different times when the weather is clear in different places. The polar ice caps look larger than they really are because of how the globe was projected onto a rectangle.

The animation begins in January, when it is winter in the North and summer in the South. As the months go by, you can see the ice and snow melt in the North and then return the following winter.

There is not as much land far in the South, so the change in the snow is less obvious. But you can see the land in the South grow more green in the summer (when it is winter in the North) and more brown in the winter (when it is summer in the North).

For the first time, you can see with your own eyes how the seasons are opposite in the North and South.

Last modified October 31, 2006 by Travis Metcalfe.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA