EARTH AT PERIHELION 2015

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It is quite saddening to note that most people are not aware of the important events in the Earth’s travel in the universe.  We wake up each day at sunrise and trek for home after work at sundown.  But how many people in the planet ever ask this question:  “Will there be a day when the sun would not rise?”

When is Earth at Perihelion in 2015?

Earth at Perihelion will be on January 4, 2015, a Sunday, at exactly 11:59 UTC.

Earth at Perihelion always happens on the first week of January each year.

What is Perihelion?

Perihelion is when the earth is closest to the sun.  Its opposite is the Aphelion which usually occurs during the warmest month of the year, July, every year.  This event came into existence in the 16th century, when Johannes Kepler showed proofs that planets orbit in slightly elongated ellipses, not in circles, as previously believed.  Perihelion, denoting closest distance, is also used with comets.

During Perihelion, the earth receives the most radiation and heat from the sun.  However, due to the earth’s axis tilting during rotation, it has barely effect on the seasons.  Land has a lower heat capacity than water.  And as water and land is unevenly distributed around the globe, this event’s main effect to mankind is just seeing the sun larger than normal.

How is the Perihelion observed?

Perihelion is one of the prime interests of astronomers.  For most mankind, it is but just any other day.  In schools, however, various activities are done in the field of science.  Science projects and contests would have Perihelion themes.

This day is also perfect in promoting Astrominer and Perihelion games.  Amazon.com markets a role-playing genre game released in 1993 called Perihelion.  This game’s regular feature is combat while Astrominer is a game where the player has to collect as many asteroids as possible.  For kids, playing online games is quite entertaining.

When is Earth at Perihelion in 2016?

Earth will be nearest to the sun at 6:36 UTC on a Sunday, January 4, 2016.

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