Elliptical Orbit, Tilt, and Seasons
If a planet has a elliptical orbit explain why this would
lead to seasons on the planet. How would these seasons
be different from our own?
The elliptical orbit does not cause the seasons, the polar axis
tilt does. If the Earth had no axial tilt (ie. the axis being
perpendicular to our orbit) then we would not get any seasons, as the
Sun would travel around the equator all year.
The elliptical orbit does have a bearing on the length of the
seasons as the Earth travels around its orbit faster at perihelion
(3rd January) than it does at aphelion (4th July), but this alters the
lengths of the seasons by only a couple of days.
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Update: June 2012