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07/03/2014 – Ephemeris – Today the Earth is its farthest from the Sun for this year

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Thursday, July 3rd.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 12:35 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:02.

Later today the Earth will pass a point in its orbit called aphelion.  This is the point where the Earth is its farthest from the Sun.  Astronomers measure it in terms of the astronomical units AU), the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun.  In astronomical units the Earth will be 1.01668 AU from the Sun at 6:59 p.m. (22:59 UT).  Converted to miles it is 94.51 million miles (152.1 million km).  The 1.7 percent farther distance from the Sun doesn’t really show up as making a difference in temperature.  It is swamped by the greater effect of the Earth’s axial tilt currently giving us our summer season.  The one thing about aphelion in summer gives us is a longer summer, than winter.  The Earth travels slightly slower when farther from the Sun than when closer to it, so summer is the longest season at 94 days.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The orbits of the inner planets. (P)erihelion - (A)phelion

The orbits of the inner planets. (P)erihelion – (A)phelion

Note that the chart is from 2012.  The date of aphelion and perihelion varies by a day or two each year.  Mars and Mercury have the most eccentric orbits.

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