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Happy Astronomical New Year!

By Dean Little | AresAstro

It’s Wednesday, January 4th 2017, and to all the citizens of our wonderful planet, from all of us at the team here at UpportunityU, we’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year! …but wait, wasn’t that 4 days ago? Well yes, by Gregorian standards, however today represents what is known as our perihelion, or the point in Earth’s orbit at which it is closest to the Sun!

You may remember from our previous article on the Juno anomaly we introduced the terms “perijove” and “apojove”, representing the closest and furthest points of a satellite to Jupiter in its orbit. Well, for our Sun, also known as “Helios” in Greek mythology, we also have such terminologies. The closest and furthest points in a solar orbit are known as perihelion and aphelion (read: app – helion) respectively.

 

Image credit: NASA
Image credit: NASA

The special part about perihelion is that in terms of Earth’s orbit, this is also where our solar longitude hits 0º, meaning the beginning of a new orbital period. Thus, at least in astronomical terms, we’d like to wish you all a very Merry Perihelion, and a Happy Astronomical New Year! Let us all continue to reach for the stars in 2017!

 

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About Dean Little

Martian colonist, hacker, coder, inventor, maker, polyglot, musician & astronomer. A citizen of Earth, reaching for the stars!

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