Today Earth will be 152.1 million kilometers from the sun. Image Credit: Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock.com
Nothing says “independence” quite like striving to get as far away as possible, and today Earth achieved this when it reached its aphelion, the furthest distance from the sun.
Today, Earth is 152.1 million kilometers (94.51 million miles) from our star, reaching its peak distance this morning at 3 a.m. ET (6 a.m. UTC). This means it will be 1.67 percent further than the Earth-sun average distance, known as an astronomical unit or AU, which measures 149.6 million kilometers (92.96 million miles).
Each year, Earth’s perihelion (closest to the sun) occurs in January and aphelion in July. This year it happens to fall on July 4, Independence Day in the US. However, this doesn’t mean that the Earth will be the coldest and that you should stock up on cold medicines, despite what someone might say.aphelion phenomenon” say.
Every year, proponents of the so-called aphelion phenomenon share reports of how our planet will experience unusually cold weather between June and August, impacting colds and flu, meaning everyone should wear warm clothes and take vitamins and supplements to help prevent illness. to boost their immunity. Quite apart from the Overwhelming evidence that vitamins and supplements do very little for the average person, you would think more people would have noticed that the northern hemisphere changes for a few months every year in scenes from The day after tomorrow†
Screenshot of a Twitter message, itself a screenshot of a Facebook message, itself a screenshot of a Snapchat message from a WhatsApp chat. Image credit: no one credible
If the sun’s orbit around Earth were perfectly circular, our distance from the sun would be constant, but it’s elliptical, so the distance varies throughout the year. However, the energy we get from the sun doesn’t differ much between the heliums, as the distance with each is only . differs about 2 percent† about 4.8 million kilometers (3 million miles) † from the usual distance from our planet.
“Seasonal weather patterns are primarily shaped by the 23.5-degree tilt of our planet’s rotational axis, not the mild eccentricity of Earth’s orbit,” explains NASA professor George Lebo. back in 2001† This is why July is the warmest month in the Northern Hemisphere, not the coldest, despite its distance.
The Northern Hemisphere has more large land masses and fewer large water masses than the Southern Hemisphere, so it experiences hotter summers and colder winters. How? Because the Earth is essentially skewed. During the Northern Hemisphere summer, the North Pole is tilted toward the sun, meaning the sun shines almost straight down on more land, which heats up easily and raises the temperature of entire continents.
“Northern continents baked by the aphelion sun raise the average temperature of the entire world. Six months later, in January, the situation is reversed when our planet presents its water-dominated hemisphere to the sun,” explains NASA.
So no need to dig out your wool sweaters, you’re more likely to need sunscreen, especially if you’re celebrating the Fourth of July outdoors.