Home > Ephemeris Program, Seasons > 01/03/2017 – Ephemeris – The Earth will be closest to the Sun tomorrow

01/03/2017 – Ephemeris – The Earth will be closest to the Sun tomorrow

January 3, 2017

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 3rd.  The Sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:15.  The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 11:06 this evening.

The Earth has as elliptical orbit of the Sun, as do all planets.  It is close to circular but not quite.  The Earth’s distance from the Sun is 93 million miles (150 million km) plus or minus a million and a half miles.  Tomorrow at about 6 a.m. the Sun will be at a point called perihelion, only 91.4 million miles (147 million km).  It makes only a tiny difference in the Sun’s intensity, but since the Earth moves faster when closest to the Sun, it makes winter the shortest season at 89 days.  Aphelion, Earth’s farthest distance from the sun occurs around July 4th which makes summer the longest season at 93 days.  The eccentricity of an orbit can modify the seasons, but the seasons themselves are caused by the tilt of the planet’s axis alone.

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


Earth's orbit

The Earth’s orbit, somewhat exaggerated, showing perihelion and the seasons. Credit “Starts with a Bang” blog by Ethan Siegel.

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