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Earth at Perihelion on January 5.

20 December 2005

Earth at Perihelion on January 5.

The Earth is at perihelion (closest to the Sun) at 4 am on January 5.

The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not quite circular. This elliptical orbit means that in early January the Earth is closest to the Sun (perihelion) and in early July the Earth is furthest from the Sun (aphelion).

Brian Carter, Senior Astronomer at the Carter Observatory says, “that on January 5, the Sun will be only 147,104,000 km from the Earth”.

As the Sun is closer in our Summer, the harmful ultraviolet rays are more intense, so remember to wear a hat and use Sunblock.

The Sun should never be look at with a telescope or binoculars or even with the naked eye, as blindness could result. The Sun can safely be observed using special filters on the Cooke Telescope at Carter Observatory in Wellington. Please contact the Observatory concerning times of observing sessions, which are weather permitting.


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