Startseite » Geographie Lernmaterial » What are the lighting zones of the earth?

What are the lighting zones of the earth?

Uni-24.de Logo

The lighting zones on earth are those areas that can be differentiated with regard to the lighting conditions. The same illuminance or the same duration of illumination does not prevail at every point on earth. The earth’s rotation and the earth’s permanent orbit around the sun are responsible for this. Since our earth is tilted on its own axis, different angles of incidence arise as the planet orbits the sun.

This interaction results in a total of three different lighting zones, which can also be determined over the course of the year based on the length of the day and the height of the sun. These three lighting zones are described and presented in the following text. Each of them has different characteristics and peculiarities and stands for a certain geographical location on our planet. Since there are only three different lighting zones, they are of course very large in size.

1. Lighting zone

The first lighting zone is the so-called “Tropical Zone”, which extends from 23.5 degrees north latitude to 23.5 degrees south latitude from the equator. This zone spreads in the northern hemisphere to the Sahara and in the southern hemisphere to South Africa and Namibia. They should therefore not be equated with the earth’s climatic zones. The climatic tropics are closer and closer to the equator and do not spread that far. The rainforest that is typical for them does not, of course, penetrate into the Sahara. The tropical lighting zone thus contains several climatic zones, including the classic “tropics”.

2. Lighting zone

The second lighting zone is located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Arctic Circle, at a latitude between 23.5 degrees and 66.5 degrees. This Tropic / Arctic Circle zone extends from North Africa across Europe to Scandinavia. It also contains several climatic zones and must not be equated with the climatic classification. Here, too, the angle of incidence of the sun and the resulting warmth and strength of the light rays are decisive.

3. Lighting zone

The third lighting zone is the equivalent of the second, just in the southern hemisphere. It spreads between 23.5 degrees and 66.5 degrees south latitude and extends from the tropic to the arctic circle. Geographically, the southernmost tip of the African continent lies in it, as well as the southern half of South America and Australia.
At its end, it then encounters the beginning land mass of the Antarctic and ends there at the southern polar circle. This lighting zone is therefore the zone of the three that has the least amount of land and therefore also houses the fewest people. The largest land mass and most of the people are home to the second lighting zone in the northern hemisphere. The largest and most productive economic zone in the world is also located here. Of course, this is also strongly related to this illuminance and the resulting climatic conditions.

A conclusion

Overall, the earth is divided into the three presented lighting zones. The physical structure as a sphere is of course decisive for this phenomenon. If the earth were flat like a sheet of paper and the sun shone directly on it from above, the same intensity of illumination would be achieved at every point. However, since the earth is a sphere and thus has a curved surface, some rays from the sun at the extreme points of the sphere, the tropics and the equator, are faster and stronger than at the other areas on the surface.

In addition, the earth’s axis is not straight but has an oblique inclination, which further intensifies the phenomenon. Therefore, in science, a distinction is made between these three different and large lighting zones.

Due to this different lighting, heat and light are also absorbed differently from the earth’s surface. This can create a diverse climate and create an atmosphere that enables the planet to achieve its unique biodiversity. If there were the same amount of light and the same strength everywhere, the world would consist of a single tropical jungle.

Many species could not have emerged and the human species would have had difficulties developing. In addition, it would somehow be monotonous and boring on earth. Fortunately, there are these different lighting zones that have played a key role in creating the most fascinating diversity of species and biodiversity in our universe. The lighting zones are therefore an integral part of the procedures and processes that keep the earth alive.