Earth at Perihelion is observed two weeks after the December Solstice, which falls on January 3 or 4 every year — January 4 this year.
On this day, the Earth is at the point in its orbit where it is closest to the Sun. The difference is not significant enough to affect the weather, so it remains winter in the northern hemisphere of the earth, and summer in the southern hemisphere.
Earth reaching Perihelion is a normal occurrence that happens year after year without anything of significance being noted. However, it is still a day to celebrate all the great things about our favorite star — the Sun.
HISTORY OF EARTH AT PERIHELION
Earth at Perihelion is observed two weeks after the December Solstice. This is the day when the Earth reaches the part of its orbit when it is closest to the Sun.
Earth reaching its Perihelion is a regular part of its revolution around the Sun. Perihelion is derived from the Greek words ‘peri’, meaning near, and ‘Helios’, who was the Greek God of the Sun. The word essentially means close to the Sun. The opposite of Perihelion is Aphelion, which is the point in the Earth’s orbit when it is furthest away from the Sun. Earth at Aphelion occurs during the July solstice.
While Earth at Perihelion is a natural occurrence that does not result in any evident changes in the Earth’s climate, it is a day to understand the planetary phenomenon and the importance of the Sun. The Sun is a yellow dwarf star that is at the center of our solar system. It has existed for more than 4.5 billion years and will continue to exist for about the same length of time. Light from the Sun radiates from its photosphere and reaches the Earth. This is what makes life on Earth possible.
The Sun keeps the Earth in orbit. The light radiated from the Sun helps plants to develop sugars to survive through photosynthesis, thereby producing oxygen and leading to the evolution of life as we know it. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is crucial for the evolution and development of life. Any closer, and it would be too hot for life to flourish. In a few billion years, as the Sun becomes a Red Dwarf star, the heat from the sun will increase and all the water on the Earth will be boiled away. This will make the planet inhospitable to live on. [National Today]