The Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees on its axis. During the course of its path or revolution around the Sun, it is either tilted toward or away from the Sun. During the summer months, in the Northern hemisphere, although Earth is further away from the sun than in winter, it is actually tilted more directly toward the sun. Because of this, the sun is above the horizon longer, with more rays directly hitting Earth's surface, resulting in longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. However, in winter months, although the Earth is closer to the sun, it is tilted away from the sun, in the Northern hemisphere. This results in the sun rising lower in the sky and above the horizon for a shorter period of time, producing less hours of daylight and cooler temperatures.