Let's state the obvious
- The Earth goes round the Sun - heliocentrism (However in olden times, certainly in Christian societies, until Copernicus published a model putting the Sun at the centre of the Solar System in 1643, everyone thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe - geocentrism – it was obvious to anyone who just looked up.)
- A planet's year is the time it takes to make one complete orbit around the Sun. That's 365 days here on Earth.
- As the Earth orbits the Sun its Axis (the imaginary line through the centre from North Pole to South Pole is tilted (wonky). The axis of rotation of the Earth always points to the same direction, towards the north celestial pole (North Star)
- It is this tilt that creates the seasons - winter, spring, summer and autumn - and this is how it works
- When the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun it is summer in the UK & northern hemisphere (winter in the southern hemisphere).
- When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun it is winter in the UK & northern hemisphere (summer in the southern hemisphere).
- Because of the tilt of the Earth's axis the Sun moves higher in the sky in summer, when we tilt towards it, than in winter.
- The inclination (the degree by which the Earth tilts) of the Earth's rotation axis causes the position of sunrise and sunset to change every day. The maximum angular distance between two sunrises or two sunsets is the angle between two solstices (June 21, December 21). This angle changes with the latitude of the place. The variation in sunset position is the minimum at the equator and the most at the poles.
It is this perpetual movement and its different phases and divisions that we tune into when we celebrate the Wheel of the Year - this helps us to stay in tune with nature and the planet Earth - our home - it focuses our attention, keeping us grounded in the 'here and now' and allows us to relate to everything going on around us in nature - because we are an integral part of nature