Earth came closest to the sun last week during the perihelion

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by James Day on Unsplash

Last week, Earth stood at the least distance from the sun, at a configuration known as the perihelion, following its elliptical orbit around the star. During its revolution of one year, Earth traces one complete loop around the sun. When the calendar resets at the start of the year, the planet is usually at its closest point to the sun at a distance of about 91.4 million miles. As the year proceeds and so does Earth’s movement around the sun, the planet reaches its farthest point from the sun. The gap between the farthest distance of the Earth from the sun and the closest distance remains about three million miles.

This year, Earth is expected to be the farthest from the star, at a configuration known as the aphelion, by the 4th of July. The distance between the two is likely to exceed 94.5 million miles. Thus the average distance between the Earth and the sun remains about 93 million miles. When the Earth is the closest to the sun, winter persists, especially in the northern portion of the planet’s surface. When the Earth is the farthest away from the sun, the planet experiences summer. Thus, this means that the planet’s elliptical path around the sun does not affect its seasonal changes. Instead, the tilt of the Earth on its axis causes changes in the seasons.

The planet experiences the winter season when the Northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun (usually around early January); likewise, when the Earth tilts towards the sun, its experiences the summer season (usually during early July). However, the seasonal timings are sometimes affected owing to the elliptical path the planet follows.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State

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