What is the aphelion of the Earth today, and what does it mean to you?
EARTH will reach aphelion today, a significant milestone in the planet’s orbit around the Sun. But what is aphelion, and why is it essential at this time?
Summer has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, with temperatures shattering records in certain regions of the world. As a result, you might be shocked to learn that our planet is only a few hours away from reaching its farthest distance from the Sun, known as aphelion.
The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not perfectly round, as it is with all planets; it is slightly oval-shaped.
Our planet is around 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from the star.
But this varies from day to day, and the Earth moves closer or farther away from the Sun as it travels through the solar system.
For example, NASA calculates that Earth is 94,508,864 miles (152,097,321 kilometers) from the Sun as of 11.43 p.m. BST on July 5.
Earth will reach aphelion at about 11.27pm BST tonight, which is 4.27pm Eastern Time in the United States, according to astronomer Deborah Byrd of EarthSky.org.
Perihelion is the closest distance between our planet and the Sun.
Helion derives from Helios, the Greek deity of the Sun, while the term “peri” comes from the Greek word “near.”
The aphelion, which marks the Earth’s farthest point from the Sun, is the polar opposite of this aphelion.
Early January or two weeks following the December Solstice, which marks the astronomical start of winter north of the equator, is when perihelion occurs.
Aphelion usually happens two weeks after the June Solstice, which marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
“Isn’t it remarkable that the Earth is farthest from the Sun during the hot summer months and closest during the winter months?” remarked Catherine Boeckmann of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Despite the fact that the Earth is farther away from the Sun than usual, the distance will have little effect on the weather.
This is excellent news for those looking to sunbathe or relax on the beach.
Surprisingly, the changing seasons are determined by the angle at which the planet’s poles are pointed rather than the planet’s distance from the Sun.
The Earth’s axis is slanted at a 23.5-degree angle as it revolves around the Sun.
Because the axis is continually pointing in the same direction, different sections of the globe are seen throughout the year. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”