The Earth Was At The Farthest Distance From The Sun Due To The Phenomenon, Aphelion

By Dipannita | Jul 04, 2017 11:45 AM EDT

When the Earth and the sun are farthest from each other, the phenomenon is called Aphelion and Sunday saw the phenomenon happening. At 4:11 p.m. EDT, the Earth will be at a distance of 94,505, 901 miles from the sun.

According to Space, the Earth was at its farthest distance from the sun i.e. 94,505, 901 miles away, on Sunday. The phenomenon presents itself every year around July and the date varies because the orbital path of Earth happens to be elliptical and not circular. Also, on an average, the distance between the Earth and the sun stands at 92,955, 807 miles which are 1 AU (astronomical unit).

However, the aphelion will have no impact on the seasons that the Earth experiences. The reason is that the orbit of the Earth does not have any role in the seasons, Mashable claimed. It is the bent axis of the Earth at 23.5 degrees and its titled position in the solar system that causes summer and winter. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, it is summer over there and vice-versa.

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However, aphelion does make a difference in some way. Perihelion, which is the opposite of aphelion and falls around Jan. 3 is the day when the Earth is closest to the sun. On this day, the Earth stands 91.4 million miles away from the sun. So, the difference between these two extremes comes down to 3.1 million miles and it impacts seasons slightly. This is because when the Earth is closer to the sun, it moves faster and thus, shortens the winter duration by five days in the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite holds true for Southern Hemisphere.

It is worth mentioning here that the dates of aphelion and perihelion keep changing. This is due to other orbital factors as well but they hover around the months of July and January respectively.

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