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Solar Systems

1.  Due to the tilt of the Earth's axis, which of the following occurs?  (A) the length of daylight and night varies throughout the year, (B) the slant of the sun's rays vary throughout the year (C) the amount of the sun's energy reaching the Earth varies throughout the year or (D) all of these 
 
 
2.  During winter, the sun's rays strike (A) at ore of a slant than during summer, (B) at less of a slant than during summer, (C) perpendicular tot he Earth
 
3.  On December 21st, what season is Alice Springs, a city in the Northern territory of Austrialia experiencing?
       Beginning of summmer, winter, fall or spring
 
4.  On June 21st, what season is Portland, Oregon, a city in the northwest region of the United States experiencing?
      Beginning of winter, spring, summer or fall?
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2 Answers

  1. (A) is true, (B) is true, (C) is true only for a given location but not for the whole Earth.  I suspect that (C) was intended for a given location - so that would make (D) the right answer.
  2. (B)
  3. Summer.  The seasons in the southern hemisphere are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere.  Yes, Christmas occurs in the summer down under!
  4. Winter - Oops, I meant summer!

Comments

Where would C not be true?
C is true at any and every single point on Earth; less energy hits that point in winter than in summer. However, if you consider the Earth as a whole, its cross section doesn't change, so the total amount of energy hitting the entire Earth stays constant (to a first approximation). Hence for every point in the northern hemisphere receiving less energy in winter, there is a corresponding point in the southern hemisphere receiving more energy; so it balances out. I'm probably over analyzing it, which is why I decided the question must have been referring any location vice the whole Earth, which is why (D) is the answer. ;-)
I think it's good to point out that an answer depends on context. And so there often are many answers and no one right answer.