Hyderabad: On January 3, the Earth will be at closest to the sun in a phenomenon called ‘Perihelion’. The event, however, cannot be observed. Usually, the distance between the earth and the sun decides the seasons and temperature on the planet, but the ‘Perihelion’ breaks this norm.
At 11.05 am on Wednesday, the earth will be at the closest point to the sun in its annual elliptical orbit, at a distance of 14,70,97,237 km approximately.
Planetary Society director Raghunandhan Kumar said, “Perihelion is an important event for research and educational purposes although the public cannot observe it. Commonly it is believed that the distance of the earth from the sun decides the season or temperature on the earth. But this is not true. The axial tilt (approx. 23.5 degrees) of the earth on its axis while revolving around the Sun regulates seasons on the earth with one of the hemispheres facing away or towards the Sun.”
So, while the earth is closest to Sun this time in January, it is winter in India and countries in Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. On July 6, the earth will be at ‘Aphelion’ at 15,20,95,571 km from the sun, i.e. it will be at the farthest point from the sun....