On a clear night in the Northern Hemisphere, look up at the sky and, over a period of hours, you'll notice the stars rising in the east and setting in the west ... all except one, Polaris, the Pole Star.
It has the unique responsibility of marking, to within a few fractions of a degree, the north celestial pole. This grand title is the point in the sky toward which the Earth's axis of rotation is directed.
While Earth spins on its axis, which pops out at the north and south geographical poles (that are at different locations to the magnetic poles), it's hurtling through space in an annual orbit around the sun.
If we measure the angle of the rotation with respect to the plane of the orbit around the sun, we see it's tilted 23.5 degrees from vertical.
The tilt of the axis is responsible for the seasons we experience as the northern and southern hemispheres are alternately presented toward the sun throughout the year.
Today (June 20) the northern hemisphere is pointing directly toward the sun and so the Northern Hemisphere experiences the Summer Solstice -- or the 'longest day' -- whereas the Southern Hemisphere is plunged into winter and experiences the Winter Solstice and the 'shortest day.' As a Northerner, I can be assured that the months of June/July will be my summer months and should, in theory, be nice and warm (although being British I could probably argue that point). However, this won't always be the case as the axis of Earth's rotation wobbles like a great celestial spinning top, completing one 'wobble' in 25,772 years.