Earth is Getting Farther from the Sun: Exploring the Planetary Drift and its Implications

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             (Image Source- Google| Image By-Readers Digest)


 Have you ever wondered how far the Sun is from Earth?

Considering the scorching summers we experience? Well, the average distance between Earth and the Sun is 150 million km or 93 million miles, which is also known as 1 AU (Astronomical Unit) – the distance between the Sun and Earth.

However, it’s important to note that the distance between the Sun and Earth varies due to the elliptical nature of Earth’s orbit. When Earth is closest to the Sun, it is referred to as Perihelion. This year, Perihelion occurred on January 4th, 2023, with Earth being approximately 0.98 AU or 147 million km or 91.4 million miles away.

Conversely, there comes a point when Earth is farthest from the Sun, which is known as Aphelion. This year, Aphelion is expected to occur on July 6th. During Aphelion, the distance between Earth and the Sun will be around 152 million km or 94.5 million miles, approximately 1.01 AU.

        (Image Source- Google| Image By-The Times)

According to reports from NASA

The planet moves fastest during Perihelion and slowest during Aphelion. Interestingly, despite this fact, there was an earlier report claiming that July 4th was the hottest day ever recorded globally.

During Aphelion, the average temperature of Earth is 2.3°C higher compared to Perihelion. This temperature variation occurs due to the average fall of sun rays, which varies based on latitudes and angles. The Earth’s axial tilt of approximately 23.5 degrees also plays a significant role in temperature fluctuations.

During the summer in the northern hemisphere, the Earth is tilted towards the Sun, resulting in more direct solar energy received. This causes higher temperatures during summer. Conversely, during winter in the northern hemisphere, the overall temperature change in the southern hemisphere, experiencing summer, is not as significant.

The geographical reason behind this lies in the fact that a larger portion of the southern hemisphere consists of water, which has a greater heat capacity than land. In contrast, the Northern hemisphere has more land, which heats up faster than water and cools down slower.

Hence, even during Aphelion, when the intensity of the Sun’s rays is not as strong, the Earth’s temperature remains relatively high compared to other times.

“Article Credit- Skywalker”


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