Earth to be closest to Sun tomorrow


Hyderabad: Amateur astronomers in Hyderabad have yet another celestial event to look forward to when the Earth will be closest to the Sun this year today.

On Tuesday, at around 12.09 pm, the planet Earth will reach the closest point to Sun, a phenomenon known as Perihelion. Since Earth is on an elliptical orbit, it will be farthest from the Sun on July 4, 2022, which is scientifically known as Aphelion.

The popular perception among people is that the distance between Earth and Sun usually decides the seasons and temperatures in a year. “It’s not true. The axial tilt, which is approximately 23.5 degrees, of Earth on its axis while revolving around the Sun regulates seasons,” explains founder director, Planetary Society, India (PSI) N Sri Raghunandan Kumar.

At the beginning of the year in January, it is winter in most of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Earth is closest to the Sun in January while it is summer in Southern Hemisphere countries. Also, in July when Earth is at the farthest point from the Sun, it’s mostly hot in India and neighbourhood, when compared to what it is in January, clearly indicating that the distance between Earth and Sun doesn’t decide seasons but it’s the tilt during its yearly journey around Sun, Raghunandan Kumar explains.

While people will not be able to notice or observe anything significant involving the celestial event on Tuesday, it definitely holds a lot of education value and provides an opportunity to create awareness among children, says Kumar, adding that the event helps people to understand that seasons on Earth are not dependent on its distance from Sun but the axial tilt during its journey around the Sun.


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