aphelion was our Word of the Day on 09/21/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of aphelion from the Web
Each year, during wintertime in the northern hemisphere, the Earth reaches its closest point to the sun, or perihelion, and during the northern hemisphere summer the Earth hits the farthest point from the sun, or aphelion.
Earth reaches aphelion July 3, the most distant spot on its imperfect, annual orbit around the sun.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aphelion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Aphelion and perihelion are troublesome terms. Which one means a planet is nearest to the sun and which means it is farthest away? An etymology lesson may help you keep those words straight. Just remember that the "ap" of aphelion derives from a Latin prefix that means "away from" (the mnemonic "'A' for 'away'" can help too); peri-, on the other hand, means "near." And how are aphelion and perihelion related to the similar-looking astronomical pair, apogee and perigee? Etymology explains again. The "helion" of aphelion and perihelion is based on the Greek word hēlios, meaning "sun," while the "gee" of apogee and perigee is based on gaia, meaning "earth." The first pair describes distance in relation to the sun, the second in relation to the earth.
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