Earth is closer to the sun today: it is Perihelion Day

Ilustração da distância da Terra em relação ao Sol, o periélio

Today, January 2, 2021 at 2 pm, the Earth was closest to the Sun, perihelion. Thus, our planet was 0.983257060 astronomical units (AU) or about 149.6 million kilometers from its star.

As a curiosity, the Earth travels through the universe at a speed of 30.75 kilometers per second.

Perilio, the day when the earth was closest to the sun

If time permits today, our star will appear in the largest shape of the year because its apparent diameter (angle) reached its maximum value: 32.53 ‘(arc minutes).

Although the true diameter of the Sun is constant (1.393 million km), the angle (apparent diameter) between the left and right edges of the solar disk decreases or increases as the distance to the Sun changes.

Description of the distance from the earth to the sun, perihelion

The average distance from Earth to its star is 1 AU (Astronomy Division), I.e. 149.6 million kilometers. In terrestrial translation (elliptical motion around the sun) the distance of the sun varies daily: in the perihelion it is closer and in the abyss it is further away from it.

Although the Earth is perihelion, it does not prevent the Northern Hemisphere from being cold during the year (winter). The seasons do not depend on the distance to the sun (which varies because our elliptical orbit is almost circular), but the axis of the earth is related to its orbital plane.

Afelio and Perilio slow down or speed up the planet

In Aphelio, the orbital speed of a planet is low. Because it is so far away from the sun. In Perilio, on the other hand, the distance is smaller and the orbital speed is higher.

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The average distance from the sun is about 150 million kilometers. At Apilion it reaches 152.09 million km, while at Perihelion it drops to 149.59 million km.

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About the Author: Nathaniel Marrow

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Devoted coffee enthusiast. Avid bacon geek. Lifelong internet nerd.

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