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Earth will be at nearest point to sun on Thursday

January 03, 2008 03:11 IST

On Thursday, the earth will be at the nearest point to the sun. It will be at Perihelion at a point 0.983 Astronomical Units from the sun.

On July 4, however, the earth will be at Aphelion ie 1.017 Astronomical Units from the sun. While Perihelion is the point in the earth's orbit when it is closest to the sun, Aphelion is the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is farthest from the sun.

According to Raghunandan Kumar, founder and secretary, Planetary Society of India,  on January 4 at 12.10 pm IST, Quadrantids meteor showers will take place.

Star gazers can sport meteors zipping across in the direction between North east and east direction, near the bright star, by 3 am. While the showers can be seen between January 1 and January 5, they will be clearest on January 4.

However, the viewing ability is dependent on the Zenithal hourly rate. Kumar says that according to the International Meteor Organisation, this year, the ZHR can vary from 6 to 200 but more than 120 meteors an hour during the peak time are expected on January 4.

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