The Earth reached its farthest point from the Sun yesterday

Technology News

Our planet goes around the Sun in an elliptical orbit and this means that the distance between the star and the Earth changes by around 3 per cent over the year. Earth was at its farthest point from the Sun yesterday on July 7.

In theory, July 7 should be the day when the Sun will appear the smallest in the sky and it is also the day when our planet receives the least amount of radiation from the star. But in practice, the 3 per cent difference in the distance between the two celestial bodies is unlikely to produce any noticeable differences.

Will it get any cooler during the aphelion?

If you are part of the world suffering from a blazing hot summer (which could be exacerbated by climate change), we are sorry to inform you but there is no chance that your immediate vicinity will get appreciably cooler during the aphelion.

The seasonal shift between warm and cold temperatures, from summer to winter and vice versa, is not decided by the difference between the Sun. Rather, it is caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis and its relation to how the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Illustration explaining how seasons work Image credit: NASA

The Earth’s axis is tilted with respect to the plane of its revolution around the Sun. Due to this, one hemisphere will be closer to the Sun for half a year, while the other hemisphere will be closer during the other half. This is why our planet has seasons. It is also why Australia and New Zealand celebrate Christmas during what is the middle of summer for them.

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