Hyderabad, : Earth will reach the closest point to Sun on Tuesday, Planetary Society of India (PSI) said today.
According a statement here today, PSI Director Raghunandan Kumar said that the Earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. Due to which at one point of time Earth will closest it can get to Sun and also farthest it can get during the year. Hence on January 4 at 12:09 pm, Planet Earth will reach the closest point to Sun in its annual elliptical orbit at 0.9833 AU i.e. at 14,70,99,586 km from Sun. Astronomically this phenomenon is known as “Perihelion”. Whereas on July 4 this year, at 12:41 pm Earth will be at Aphelion at 1.0167 AU (15,20,96,155 km) from Sun i.e. which
is the farthest point from Sun.
In other words, due to the Perihelion Earth will be 49,96,569 km closer to the Sun compared to July 4 in its orbit.
Distance not Reason for Seasons on Earth: Commonly it is believed that the distance of Earth to the Sun decides the season or temperature on Earth. However, it is not true. Axial tilt (approx. 23.5 Degree) of Earth on its axis while revolving around the Sun regulates seasons on planet Earth with one of the Hemisphere facing away or towards the Sun.
Evidence/Example: At the beginning of the year every January Month it is winter in most of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Whereas Earth is at closest it can get to the Sun at the beginning of the year 2022. Whereas it’s summer in Southern Hemisphere countries. Also in July when Earth is at the farthest point from the Sun it’s mostly hot in India & neibhourhood compared to what it is in January. This clearly shows Distance of Earth to Sun doesn’t decide the Season but its tilt during its yearly journey around Sun.
Earth Last year 2021- Perihelion /Aphelion : like every year in 2021 last year celestial event of Earth at Perihelion (Closest point) to Sun occurred on January 2 , 2021. Whereas Earth at Aphelion (farthest point) to Sun occurred on July 6, 2021. So in year 2021 compared to July 6 Earth was 50,07,355 km closer to the Sun on January 2 2021.
Venus and Mercury at Perihelion : It’s a fact that Earth takes 365.25 days to complete one revolution around Sun. Compare to this Mercury takes around 87.96 Earth days and Venus takes 224.7 Earth days to complete one revolution around Sun. Which means a person living on Mercury will celebrate new year every 88 days whereas a person on Venus will do every 225 days.
Just like Earth even Mercury, Venus also at one point in their revolution will be closer (perihelion) and farther (aphelion) from Sun.Thus on 16 January 2022 Planet Mercury will be at Perihelion (Closest Point) to Sun. And on 23 Jan 2022 Planet Venus will at Perihelion (closest point) to Sun.
Events of Educational Value – January of 2022 Special : on day of occurance though people will not be able to notice or observe anything significant involving these three celestial events in Jan. Its holds greater education value and scientific awareness. Importantly people can understand that temperatures or Seasons on Earth are not dependent on the distance of Earth to the Sun but axial tilt during its journey around the Sun. Though not very rare its interesting to note that three planets i.e. Earth (4 Jan) Mercury (16 Jan), Venus (23 Jan) are at their closest point to Sun in the month of January in year 2022., he added.