16.8 C
Saturday, April 1, 2023

Explaining Perihelion: The Closest Earth Comes to the Sun

Perihelion is an integral part of understanding the solar system and its mechanics

Must read

Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

INDIA: Perihelion is the point in an object’s orbit when it is closest to the Sun, but this term is used chiefly concerning the Earth’s orbit. It can also apply to other celestial bodies, such as planets and comets.

The phenomenon occurs once a year for the Earth, and it usually takes place around January 3rd. In 2023, the perihelion will occur on January 4th.

- Advertisement -

At this time, the Earth is about 147.1 million kilometres (91.4 million miles) from the Sun, which is about 3.1 million kilometres (1.9 million miles) closer than its average distance from the Sun.

While perihelion may seem minor, it can significantly affect the Earth

For example, the closer distance to the Sun can result in slightly warmer temperatures, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also affect the amount of solar energy the Earth receives, influencing its climate and weather patterns.

- Advertisement -

Perihelion is often confused with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and occurs around June 20th or 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. 

However, these two events are unrelated; the summer solstice is determined by the tilt of the Earth’s axis, while the Earth’s orbit determines the perihelion around the Sun.

- Advertisement -

The term “perihelion” comes from the Greek words “peri,” meaning “near,” and “helios,” meaning “sun.” It is the opposite of “aphelion,” which is the point in an object’s orbit when it is farthest from the Sun.

In addition to the Earth, other celestial bodies also experience perihelion and aphelion as they orbit the Sun. For example, Mercury has a highly elliptical orbit, which means it experiences extreme variations in its distance from the Sun. 

At its perihelion, Mercury is about 46 million kilometres (29 million miles) from the Sun, while at its aphelion, it is about 70 million kilometres (43 million miles) away.

Perihelion is an important concept in the study of celestial mechanics and is vital for astronomers to understand the orbits of heavenly bodies and predict their movements. 

It is also of practical importance for space travel, as the distance from the Sun can affect the amount of fuel required for a mission and the amount of solar energy available for powering spacecraft.

Overall, perihelion is a significant event in the Earth’s orbit that can affect the planet’s climate and weather patterns. It is a reminder of the intricate dance of the celestial bodies and the forces that shape the solar system.

Also Read: ISRO Makes Huge Future Plans for 2023


- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

Trending Today