Today the Earth is at Perihelion

Posted by Marge on 01/03/2018 in History or Holidays |

What is Perihelion? Perihelion is when the earth is closest to the sun. The words Perihelion and Aphelion come from ancient Greek where peri means close, apo means far, and helios means the Sun? Helios refers to the Greek god of the sun.

These words are used in astronomy to refer to the closest and farthest points of the orbits of any object revolving around the Sun. Together, they are called apsides – the points of least or greatest distance of a celestial object in orbit around another astronomical body. Since Perihelion means we are the closest to the sun, I find it strange that most of us are freezing. If we are the closest, shouldn’t we be the warmest?

It seems that seasonal weather patterns are controlled primarily by the 23.5 degree tilt of earth’s spin of the earth’s axis. This tilt during northern winter causes the north pole to be tilted away from Sun. This causes the sun to hang low in the sky. This make our days short. That’s why this month is so cold.

This year they are predicting snow in the south, which is normally warm in the winter. I didn’t know the average temperature of the whole earth at this time of year, the perihelion is about 4oF or 2.3oC lower than it is at aphelion or when it is farthest. Our planet is actually colder when we’re closer to the Sun. Strange but true. All I can say is Brrrrrrr.

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