Today the Earth is furthest from the Sun, a point called apehelion. We will be about 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) we were be at perihelion on January 1st, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurring throughout one orbit.

It may seem odd that we are actually at the furthest for the middle of northern summer, 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.

2013 Solstices and Equinoxes
Perihelion Jan 2 00:59UT Jan 1 14:59HST
Spring Equinox Mar 20 11:02UT Mar 20 01:02HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 05:04UT Jun 20 19:04HST
Apehelion Jul 5 18:59UT Jul 5 08:59HST
Fall Equinox Sep 22 20:44UT Sep 22 10:44HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 17:11UT Dec 21 07:11HST
Source: NASA Sky Calendar


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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *