Discoveries astronomical It has always fascinated humanity, and one of them happened in the first days of 2024.
Every year, the Earth reaches the closest point in its orbit around the Sun, called perihelion. On January 2 of this year, last Tuesday (1/24/2), the Earth reached this point.
What are apogee and perigee?
The alignment has a direct impact on our planet, affecting everything from climate to seasons – Image: Reproduction/Astronomy Portal
Hey Apogee It occurs when the Earth is at the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun, as if it is taking a step back.
actually Perihelion This is when the Earth is closest to the Sun in its orbit, as if it were the closest point it gets. As if it were Land He was taking a step forward, getting closer to the sun.
What does this have to do with the events of 1/24/2019?
During perihelion, the planet is approximately 3% closer to the Sun than their average distance. This phenomenon was monitored by the American website EarthSky.
Because Earth's orbit is elliptical, rather than circular, the distances between Earth and the Sun vary throughout the year.
On January 2, the Earth was about 147 million kilometers from the Sun, which is 5 million kilometers less than the apogee point, which is the point of greatest distance between the two celestial bodies.
The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is about 150 million Kilometers.
During perihelion, the Sun appears slightly larger than the Earth, an event that occurs annually at the beginning of January, coinciding with summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and aphelion in turn occurs at the beginning of July, during winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Hemisphere, same hemisphere.
The exact dates of perihelion and apogee change every year, and do not exactly coincide with the calendar. For example, in BrazilThe closest convergence of 2024 occurred at 9:38 p.m. on January 2. These differences are a result of the Earth's orbital dynamics.
On larger time scales, the dates of perihelion and apogee undergo gradual changes. Every 58 years, these dates move forward by approximately one day.
Furthermore, short-term fluctuations can cause differences of up to two days from year to year.
Mathematics and astronomy experts predict that 6,430 years from now, that is, more than 4,000 years in the future, perihelion will coincide with the March equinox.
Hey moderation It is a phenomenon that occurs when the length of the day and night is equal, and each lasts exactly 12 hours.
This astronomical phenomenon has major impacts on space missions. For example, satellites orbiting the Sun, such as NASA's Parker Solar Probe, are affected by perihelion moments.
The Parker Solar Probe was launched in 2018, close to the surface of the Sun, a distance of a few million kilometres, before returning to the orbit of Venus to thermoregulate. Its mission is to study the Sun in unprecedented detail.
Another notable task for NASA It is the Solar Dynamics Observatory, also dedicated to studying the Sun.
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