Earth farthest from the sun on July 4 - EarthSky
Jul 03, 2020 1 min, 17 secs

Planet Earth reaches a milestone on July 4, 2020, as it swings out to aphelion, its most distant point from the sun.

Earth’s aphelion comes in the midst of Northern Hemisphere summer and Southern Hemisphere winter.

This image consists of 2 photos, taken just days away from a perihelion (Earth’s closest point to sun) in January 2016, and an aphelion (Earth’s farthest point from sun) in July 2017.

Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe – who captured the photos and created the composite – wrote: “Although taken 18 months apart, and a few days from the events due to adverse weather conditions, they show that there is an unmistakable size difference of the sun as viewed from Earth when it is closest at perihelion and farthest away at aphelion.”.

This animation shows what’s also in the image above … the size difference of the sun between Earth’s perihelion (closest point) and aphelion (farthest point).

We’re always farthest from the sun in early July during northern summer and closest in January during northern winter.

Right now, it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere because the northern part of Earth is tilted most toward the sun.

Meanwhile, it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere because the southern part of Earth is tilted most away from the sun.

That makes summer the longest season in the Northern Hemisphere and winter the longest season on the southern half of the globe.

Conversely, winter is the shortest season in the Northern Hemisphere, and summer is the shortest in the Southern Hemisphere, in each instance by nearly five days.


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