Tomorrow, the Earth will be closest to the Sun.
Hyderabad: Amateur astronomers in Hyderabad may look forward to yet another cosmic event today when the Earth will be closest to the Sun for the year.
The planet Earth will reach its closest point to the Sun on Tuesday at 12:09 p.m., a phenomenon known as Perihelion. Due to Earth's irregular orbit, it will be the farthest from the Sun on July 4, 2022, which is known as Aphelion in science.
People commonly believe that the distance between the Earth and the Sun determines the seasons and temperatures throughout the year.
"It’s not true. The axial tilt, which is approximately 23.5 degrees, of Earth on its axis while revolving around the Sun regulates seasons," explains founder-director, Planetary Society, India (PSI) N Sri Raghunandan Kumar.
In most of the Northern Hemisphere nations, it is winter at the start of the year, in January. In January, when the Earth is closest to the Sun, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, in July, when Earth is at its farthest point from the Sun, it is mostly hot in India and its environs, as opposed to January, indicating that the distance between Earth and the Sun does not determine seasons, but rather the tilt during Earth's yearly journey around the Sun, as Raghunandan Kumar explains.
Although most people will not be able to notice or observe anything significant about the celestial event on Tuesday, Kumar believes it has educational value and provides an opportunity to raise awareness among children. The event also helps people understand that the seasons on Earth are determined by the axial tilt of the Earth during its journey around the Sun, rather than its distance from the Sun.