As far as I know, summer and winter are governed by the amount of sunlight absorbed per unit area, where longer days would increase the temperature along with a higher sun angle.

To elaborate on the title, what I am kinda trying to do is create a planet on which a certain latitude would be able to experience central european summer nights for a duration longer than 75% of the day-night cycle for at least one season, without the daytime becoming painfully hot.

I think a higher axial tilt and a highly elliptic orbit would allow a place that experiences long nights when close to the sun would be able to create this, however the opposite hemisphere would experience rather extreme seasons.

If that already works out just fine, how can this be set up to make other parts of the planet less hostile?

Is it even possible to make a planet that is similarly habitable to earth while allowing one location to experience minimal sunlight while never dropping below 10˚C simply by tweaking the motion of the planet, or would it require the planet to have an atmosphere different from earth/have certain ocean currents/massive heat-exchanging infrastructure?

edit for clarification: The warm season has the long nights, and the cold season has the short nights

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    $\begingroup$ A higher axial tilt and a highly elliptic orbit would generate some REALLY extreme variation in seasons though. Your winters would be... savage. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2019 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ If I'm remembering my atmospherics class from 200 level geography properly the change in the angle that sunlight comes in on is more important than the change in the duration of days. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Jul 8, 2019 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Summer by definition has short night and long days. Unless you call summer what we call winter $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 8, 2019 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ L.Dutch, it doesn't matter whether it's called summer or not, my question is about creating a season with long nights and warm weather in a way that the other seasons don't have weather that is considerably warmer $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2019 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ Please note that you can notify one user per comment using the '@<username>' syntax. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jul 8, 2019 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


You could look at a rapid jetstream migration cycle, this could change the high altitude wind patterns from season to season resulting in polar air masses moving north/south, depending on the hemisphere, cooling what would be summer, in terms of orbital dynamics, drastically. The movement of equatorial warm air to fill the void created by the jetstream shifting back will make the orbital winter relatively warm making for long hot nights. It's not really a matter of summer having long nights as much as winter being warm while summer is chilly.

Do note that this will tend to support/create what we would think of as an ice age, but pretty well constant. So this world is likely to be heavily glaciated, especially at higher latitudes.


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