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 3rd, 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.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Author: Andrew

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.