The "southern hemisphere" is the half of a planet that is south of the equator.
Earth's Southern Hemisphere contains all or parts of four continents (Antarctica, Australia, most of South America, and parts of Africa), and four oceans (South Atlantic, Indian, South Pacific, and Southern).
Due to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane, Summer occurs from December 21 to March 21 where as winter occurs June 21 to September 21.
Climates in the southern hemisphere overall tend to be slightly milder than those in the northern hemisphere except in the Antarctic, where generally it is colder than the Arctic. These colder temperatures are caused by the southern hemisphere's significantly increased water to land ratio in comparison to the Arctic. (Water heats up and cools down more slowly than land.) Also, the southern hemisphere is polluted significantly less than the northern hemisphere because of lower overall population densities (a total of 10 to 12% of the human population). In addition, the southern hemisphere has lower levels of industrialization and smaller land masses (air currents run mostly west and east so pollution does not easily spread north or south).
In the southern hemisphere the sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the Tropic of Capricorn the mean sun can be directly overhead or due south at midday. The sun rotating through the north causes an apparent right-left trajectory through the sky unlike the left-right motion of the sun when seen from the northern hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise through the day (sun dials have the hours in reverse). Hurricanes and tropical storms spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere (as opposed to anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere) due to the Coriolis effect.
The southern temperate zone, a subsection of the southern hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic.
The south pole is oriented towards the galactic center and this, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the southern hemisphere, with brighter and more numerous stars.
See also: Northern Hemisphere
Note: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Southern Hemisphere that was accessed on <