The Southern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents and four oceans, as well as New Zealand and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania. Its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains 32.7% of Earth's land. Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane, summer is from December to February and winter is from June to August. September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox. The South Pole is in the center of the southern hemispherical region.