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Does the sun “move the other way” in Australia as opposed to in Europe?
Have you ever heard the claim that the sun “moves the other way” in Australia compared to Europe? As a traveler, you might have come across this question and wondered if it’s true.
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. While the sun indeed rises in the east and sets in the west everywhere, there are some differences in how it appears to move in the sky depending on where you are in the world. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind the sun’s movement and what it means for travelers visiting Australia and Europe.
The Science of Sun’s Movement
To understand why some people believe that the sun “moves the other way” in Australia, we need to delve into the science of the sun’s movement. The sun appears to move across the sky because of the Earth’s rotation on its axis.
From the perspective of an observer on the ground, the sun rises in the east, reaches its highest point in the sky at noon, and sets in the west. This movement is the same everywhere on the planet.
However, the Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun. This tilt causes different parts of the Earth to receive different amounts of sunlight at different times of the year, leading to the changing of seasons. Moreover, the tilt affects how the sun appears to move in the sky depending on where you are in the world.
The Sun’s Movement in Australia
Australia is located in the southern hemisphere, which means that it experiences seasons opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. When it’s summer in Europe, it’s winter in Australia, and vice versa. Because of the Earth’s tilt, the sun appears to move differently in the sky in the southern hemisphere than it does in the northern hemisphere.
In Australia, the sun appears to move from east to west, just like it does in Europe. However, because of the Earth’s tilt, the sun appears to be lower in the northern sky and higher in the southern sky. This means that the sun’s path across the sky is shorter and more curved than it is in Europe. Additionally, the sun appears to rise and set farther to the north than it does in Europe, making it appear to “move the other way” to some observers.