Perihelion Day 2024: When Earth Reaches Its Nearest Point To The Sun

Perihelion Day signifies the moment when Earth is at its closest point to the Sun during its yearly orbit.

Perihelion Day 2024: When Earth Reaches Its Nearest Point To The Sun

This occurrence is a result of Earth following an elliptical path around the Sun.

Today, January 3rd, is Perihelion Day, a special day for everyone on Earth. It's when our planet is closest to the sun in 2024. On this day, Earth is about 3 million miles nearer to the sun compared to when it's farthest away, called the aphelion. Perihelion doesn't always happen on the same day each year, but it usually comes about two weeks after the winter solstice, which is the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. This event shows that Earth doesn't follow a perfect circle in its orbit around the sun; instead, it's more like an oval, making its journey through space interesting and dynamic.

Today, Earth will be around 91.4 million miles from the sun. Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals that sunlight is about 7% more intense during perihelion, which is when Earth is closest to the Sun, compared to aphelion, the farthest point in its orbit.

According to, the term "perihelion" has its roots in Greek, where "peri" means around and "helios" refers to the sun. On the other hand, "aphelion" denotes the point in an orbit when a celestial body is farthest from the sun. In the universe, the paths of natural bodies often deviate from perfect circles, taking on an elliptical shape.

Some orbits are only slightly elliptical, resembling a somewhat squashed circle with low eccentricity, while others are more flattened and highly eccentric. These variations in orbital shapes contribute to the diverse and dynamic nature of celestial paths in the cosmos.