Earth at Perihelion

Today the Earth is closest to the Sun, a point called perihelion. We will be about 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) we will be at aphelion on July 6th, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurs throughout one orbit.

It may seem odd that we are actually at the closest for the middle of northern winter, you just have to remember that proximity to the Sun is not the cause of the seasons. The seasons are caused by the axial tilt of the Earth, creating short and long days throughout the year, with a resulting change in the angle and intensity of the sunlight.

2015 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 08:59UT Jan 3 22:59HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 22:45UT Mar 20 12:45HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 16:38UT Jun 21 06:38HST
Apehelion Jul 6 12:59UT Jul 6 02:59HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 23 08:20UT Sep 22 22:20HST
Winter Solstice Dec 22 04:48UT Dec 21 18:48HST
 
Source: NASA Sky Calendar

 

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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