This Saturday, July 4, the Earth will be at the point furthest from the Sun. It will then be 152,095 million km from our daily star.
The exact moment of Earth’s passage through the aphelion, that is, the orbit furthest from the Sun, is July 4 at 13:35. This is a cyclical event that returns more or less at the same time each year.
It may seem strange at first – the Earth is farthest from the sun and Poland’s hottest season. However, this is proof that – as astronomers explain – the real reason for seasons on our planet is not the change in Earth-Sun distance, because it is not very large. It is 147.1 million km at the nearest point and 152.1 million km at its farthest point. The difference is therefore 5 million km, which is more than 3 percent of the average distance. So it does not significantly affect the amount of radiation that reaches us from the sun.
The reason for the seasons is slightly different: the inclination of the axis of rotation of the Earth to the orbit plane (in combination with the movement of our planet around the sun). The slope of the Earth’s axis is about 23.5 degrees. As a result of this slope, the height of the sun that protrudes above the horizon in different areas changes during the year – the sun’s rays fall at a greater or lesser angle, and the length of the day changes in proportion to the length of the night. This affects the temperature and therefore the climatic conditions.
In months such as June, July or August, the Northern Hemisphere has better lighting and, for example, in December, January or February, the Northern Hemisphere has poorer lighting than the Southern Hemisphere.
In the climate zone in which Poland is located, four main seasons are distinguished: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The astronomical summer is from June 20 to September 22.