Aphelion 2022: Today, Earth will be the farthest from the Sun. Know the reason here.
Did you ever wonder how far Earth is from Sun? Well, know that today is a big day! Earth will be farthest away in distance from the Sun today, on July 4, 2022! This is not a normal day, it happens once a year when Earth remains as far away from the Sun as it can possibly get. This special phenomenon is dubbed ‘aphelion’. On this day, the Earth and the Sun are separated by nearly 152.1 million kilometres, which is around 1.67 percent more than the mean distance between Earth and the Sun. The mean Earth-Sun separation is 149.6 million kilometres, which is calculated as one Astronomical Unit (AI).
Likewise the farthest distance between Earth and the Sun is known as Aphelion and there is a day when the planet and our giant star are the closest, which is known as Perihelion. It generally happens in early January when the Earth is approximately 91.4 million miles (147.1 million km) away from the Sun. But why does the Earth and the Sun’s distance vary? What is the reason behind these two days to make the Sun and Earth either the farthest or closest? Read on to know.
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This is all because of the orbital path of the Earth! There are a total of nine planets in our solar system, each revolving around the Sun in their own orbits separated by millions and billions of kilometres in the huge dark space. Similarly, Earth’s orbit in which the planet revolves around the Sun is not a perfect circle, that’s why we have aphelion and perihelion.
However, till the 17th century, all used to believe that Earth moved around the Sun in a circular orbit. Later, a German Astronomer found out that Earth has its unique elliptical orbit, which leads either the farthest or the closest point from the Sun. This minor divergence from a perfectly circular orbit is known as eccentricity. Notably, it is Venus that has the most circular orbit in our solar system.