Happy Aphelion everybody! Today marks the point in the earth's orbit when the earth reaches the greatest distance from the sun- known as aphelion. Aphelion generally falls anywhere from July 2nd to the 7th and currently the earth is 1.o2 Astronomical Units (AU) from the sun. The earth maintains an average distance of about 93 million miles from the sun, but because the earth's orbit is slightly oval-shaped this distance varies. It's only about a 3% change in distance which relatively speaking is not all that much, so don't expect the weather to be any cooler just because we are further away from the sun. Plus, the Northern hemisphere reached its maximum tilt toward the sun on June 20th during the summer solstice. That means the northern hemisphere is getting the best of the sun's energy during these summer months. The earth reaches perihelion- its closest point to the sun- on January 4, 2017.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org