The Earth's annual orbit around the Sun will take it to its
furthest point from the Sun, at a distance of 1.02 AU. This moment marks the point in the year when the Sun appears smallest in the
sky, and when the Earth receives the least radiation from it, though the
effect is in practice very small. The Earth's orbit is almost exactly circular
and its distance from the Sun varies by only about 3% over the course of the
year, and so other phenomena, such the reflection of solar radiation by
clouds, have a much more significant effect in determining our weather. The
annual changes in weather between the summer and winter months are caused
entirely by the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation, rather than by any
change in its distance from the Sun.
The detailed circumstances of this event are:
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
The circumstances of this event were computed from the DE405 ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
© NASA/Apollo 17