First Alert Weather In-Depth: Thursday is Aphelion Day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Happy Aphelion Day to those that celebrate! Wait, happy what day? Aphelion!

July 5, is the day in which the Earth is the furthest from the sun. The reason we are at different distances from the sun through the year is because the Earth orbits in an elliptical orbit. An elliptical orbit is not a perfect circle, closer to an oval than a circle. An ellipse consists of two “foci,” — which are two reference points within the ellipse that dictate the size and shape of the orbit.

With the uneven orbit of the Earth around the sun there also are two points in which the Earth is the furthest (aphelion), and where the earth is the closest (perihelion). Thursday the Earth is 94.5 million miles away from the sun, which is about three million miles further than about six months from now.

With it being summer in the Northern Hemisphere, you might be wondering if this has an affect on our temperatures. It does not, our seasons are determined by the tilt of the Earth’s axis, not the distance away from the sun.