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Aphelion Day: The Earth will be at its farthest point from the Sun

A depiction of the Earth's elliptical rotation around the Sun.
A depiction of the Earth's elliptical rotation around the Sun.(KNOE)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 2:23 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Happy Aphelion Day!

The Earth will be at its farthest point from the Sun in its orbit at 5:27 PM on July 5, 2021. At that moment, the Earth and Sun will be 94,510,886 miles apart. This happens only once a year thanks to the Earth’s elliptical orbit. This typically happens about two weeks after the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now, this may seem odd because this is typically the hottest time of the year for us in Louisiana. How could the Sun be that far away when we are in the middle of summer?

That’s because it’s the tilt of the Earth that causes seasons, not the physical distance from the Sun. During summertime for us, the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth is tilted about 23.5° towards the Sun. The tilt determines whether the sun’s rays strike the planet at a low angle or more directly. More direct sunlight means warmer temperatures.

Perihelion will occur on January 4, 2022, when the Earth is closest to the sun.

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