Jan 01, 2013, 05.52 PM IST
Stargazers will get a celestial treat on New Year with Sun coming nearest to our planet on January 2. The Earth will be at its nearest point from the Sun at 10:10 AM tomorrow at a distance of 147 million km, Planetary Society of India General Secretary N Sri Raghunandan Kumar said.
Every January, the Earth is at perihelion, the closest from the Sun for the year, and in July it is at aphelion, the farthest to the Sun for the year, he said. This year the earth will be at aphelion on July 5. The word perihelion comes from the Greek words "peri" (meaning "near") and "helios" (meaning "sun").
All planets, comets and asteroids in our solar system have elliptical orbits. Thus, they all have a closest and a farthest point from the Sun -- a perihelion and an aphelion, he said.
Explaining the reason why the temperature does not rise on Perihelion Day even when the sunlight is more, Kumar said, "There are many reasons for it. Blame it on the tilt of the Earth's axis. Actually, our seasons are determined by the tilt of the Earth and not by how close the Earth is to the Sun."
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