How does my theory of sunlight come into play when considering the seasons?
Before we think of Summer or Winter (when our part of the world is pointed toward or away from the sun)… let us think of mid-Spring and mid-Autumn. Two times a year, the Earth’s axis is exactly perpindicular to the Sun (in the sense that the Earth’s equator at those moments, if shot-out toward the Sun, would bisect it). On those days, daytime and nighttime are of equal duration.
Some people would have us believe that at such times (around the “Equinox,” or “equal night”), that the poles are receiving sunlight that is somehow “less direct.” And that is why they believe that the poles are cooler than the equator. Rubbish…
Hold a marble up to a wall sometime. That’s the Earth to the Sun. There’s more than enough Sun to draw direct lines to any point on the Sun-facing half of the Earth.
As I’ve said before, to think of Light as arriving in “waves” is misleading. It is much better to think in terms of radiating spheres… even if those spheres do interfere with each other so much that only points of light survive in the form of “photons” (a possibility).
Indeed, let us talk in terms of “photons,” for what holds for emitted photons will hold for emitted spheres, and the consideration of photons has the advantage of being easier to describe and visualize (for me, at least)…
Photons emerge from the Sun at all angles. And here, let us measure the angles as being relative to an imaginary line connecting the center of the Sun to the center of the Earth. In this way, the angle from the Earth to a place near the center of the Sun would be a small angle, and the angle to the edge of the Sun (from the Earth’s perspective) would be a large angle.
Let us assume that the Earth’s diameter is about 1/100th that of the Sun’s, and that the Earth is about 1,000 Earth diameters away from the Sun.
With the Earth being so relatively tiny and far away from the Sun, any photons emerging in straight lines (lines parallel to the Sun-Earth centerline we’ve imagined) from near the sun’s edges would miss the Earth entirely.
But let us imagine that photons are emerging from the Sun in all directions. From each tiny surface area of the Sun, even at the edges, there will be photons emerging at angles which will allow them to hit the Earth. Let us call each of these tiny surface areas of the Sun, “patches.” Each patch emits photons in all directions, but the paths of those lucky few heading toward Earth (“lucky,” for as far as we know, they are among the very few photons of the Universe which get to become a part of LIFE for a time) will form the shape of a cone… a very narrow cone, with its top at the patch on the Sun and its tiny base on the Earth, and with the measurement of the base equaling one earth diameter. So, we are imagining a cone a thousand times taller than it is wide.
Now let us think about the edges of the Sun (from the Earth’s perspective). Photons arriving from the edges of the Sun are no less “direct” than photons arriving from the center of the Sun. Sure, the angle of the edges off the centerline from Earth to Sun may be, say, 45 degrees, but to the photon, it’s still a straight line. There is nothing “indirect” or weakening about a photon making a straight light toward the Earth.
Now, I admit that the photon is crossing a slightly farther distance to reach the Earth from the Sun’s edge than from the center of the Sun, but this doesn’t matter for one of two reasons: 1) it might be that photons do not lose energy as they travel, and 2) even if they do, the distance difference is relatively minuscule.
(note: I’m setting aside the consideration that a bit more travel-time for a photon slightly increases its chance of being absorbed or otherwise interfered with on its way to the Earth).
But what IS happening is this… Most of these cones of Energy striking the Earth from the Sun’s surface will overlap with other cones. The point of densest overlap will be at the Sun-Earth centerline.
Picturing that, let’s now imagine that the Earth is NOT spinning. With each step away from this centerline area, there will be fewer cones of energy overlapping. By the time we get to the edge of the world (relative to the centerline), we’ll be experiencing the photons from only a few slivers of a few cones. In fact, to complete our walk to its theoretical conclusion (and assuming all shapes “perfect”), we would arrive at a point on the surface of the Earth at which only a single row of photons are striking– this row of photons forms the side of the last cone capable of hitting the Earth. This line could also be described as a line tangent to the sphere of the Earth.
Okay, now let us set the Earth spinning again (with its axis still perpendicular to the centerline with the Sun)… The area around the centerline, where there is the densest cone-overlap, will begin moving around the Earth’s equator. All the cones striking the Earth will, in fact, “move” around the Earth, but those sections near the poles will still have less cone-overlap, and thus less energy, arriving from the Sun. Therefore, the farther North or South one goes, the less warm it will be, for it is the Energy from the Sun which generates the corpuscular “sloshing” that we think of as “heat” (for my theory of Heat, go HERE).
So, that would be life if every day were an Equinox. Now let us imagine Summer and Winter.
The Earth’s axis being tilted, as it moves around the sun, sometimes the North of the axis is pointing toward the Sun, and sometimes (a 180 degrees and six months away) it is pointing away from the Sun.
If it’s Summertime where you are on Earth, that simply means that your part of the world has become closer to the Earth-Sun centerline, where you temporarily get to bask in the warmth of more numerous overlapping Energy cones. The opposite, of course, holds for Wintertime.
Additionally, when you’re pointed toward the sun, you get more HOURS of sunlight every twenty-four hour period… which I personally believe makes an undervalued contribution to summertime heat.