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Animation showing monthly changes on the Earth's surface over a complete year.
Click on image for full size
NASA's Earth Observatory

North and South: Opposite Seasons

NASA recently started making images of the entire surface of the Earth every month. There are no clouds in the images. 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. This is because of how the globe was projected.

The animation begins in January. 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. Then it returns the following winter.

There is not as much land far in the South. 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). Then it grows 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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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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