NASA recently, January 2, 2021, talked a bit about something going on between Earth and the Sun. Today marks the Earth’s perihelion, the closest point to the Sun in our planet’s elliptical orbit around our host star. NASA says the sun will not appear significantly larger in the sky.
Even though it doesn’t look big, it will be three percent bigger in the sky. NASA also reminds people not to look at the sun, it is very dangerous for your eyes. The only way to be able to see the sun is to use appropriate glasses or goggles that are clearly designed to see the sun.
NASA also took the time to talk about some of the other interesting things happening in heaven during January. On January 20, Uranus will be much easier to find because it will be located between the Moon and Mars. Typically, Uranus is so far away that we cannot see it with the naked eye, and it is difficult to find it without a computer-guided telescope. Although it is easy to find its location with the location between the Moon and Mars, obstacles you still will not be able to see it without a telescope.
During the last two weeks of January, amateur astronomers will also find Mercury more easily than usual. To be able to see Mercury, amateur astronomers will need a clear view of the west. Mercury will appear only a few degrees above the horizon.
Another interesting thing about how the Earth reaches its perihelion today is that six months later, the Earth will reach Aphelian. Aphelian is the point when the earth is at its farthest point from the sun. On that day, the sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface will be about 6.7 percent less intense than normal.