Earth reaches aphelion, which is the further point in its orbit around the Sun. At this time the centres of these two bodies are 152,104,285 km apart.

Twice a year the Earth reaches and extreme point in its orbit. The closest point is known as Perihelion and occurs about 2 weeks after December Solstice.

This one known as Aphelion when the Earth is farthest away usually happens about 2 weeks after the June Solstice. It doesn’t have a fixed date because the orbit of the Earth varies in it eccentricity.

Way back in 1246, was the last time that the December Solstice was on the same day as the Earth reached its Perihelion.

Since then, the Perihelion and Aphelion dates have drifted by a day every 58 years. The dates can vary by up to 2 days from one year to another.

The words Perihelion and Aphelion come from the Ancient Greeks, the word peri meaning close and app meaning far, and the word Helios means the Sun. They are used in astronomy to refer to the closest and farthest points of the orbits of any planet, comet, asteroid or any other astronomical body that orbits the Sun.