Perihelion, Aphelion, Equinoxes and Solstices 2004 – 2020

The Earth is closest to the Sun in early January (perihelion), and furthest from the Sun in early July (aphelion). The date and time (to the nearest hour) are given below. Although it might seem logical that this would make winters more severe in the southern hemisphere than north of the equator, the preponderance of ocean in the southern hemisphere more than balances out the effect.

At the moment of “equinox”, the sun crosses the equator in the sky (the celestial equator, a projection of the Earth’s equator into the heavens). In March the sun crosses from south to north, in September from north to south.

At the moment of “solstice”, the sun is at its northernmost point in the sky for the year (June) or its southernmost point (December). All times are SAST.

            Month d  h               Month  d  h  m    Month  d  h  m 

2004                        2004 
Perihelion  Jan   4 20    Equinoxes  Mar   20 08 49    Sept  22 18 30 
Aphelion    July  5 13    Solstices  June  21 02 57    Dec   21 14 42 
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2005                        2005 
Perihelion  Jan   2 03    Equinoxes  Mar   20 14 33    Sept  23 00 23 
Aphelion    July  5 07    Solstices  June  21 08 46    Dec   21 20 35 
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2006                        2006 
Perihelion  Jan   4 17    Equinoxes  Mar   20 20 26    Sept  23 06 03 
Aphelion    July  4 01    Solstices  June  21 14 26    Dec   22 02 22 
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2007                        2007 
Perihelion  Jan   3 22    Equinoxes  Mar   21 02 07    Sept  23 11 51 
Aphelion    July  7 02    Solstices  June  21 20 06    Dec   22 08 08 
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2008                        2008 
Perihelion  Jan   3 02    Equinoxes  Mar   20 07 48    Sept  22 17 44 
Aphelion    July  4 10    Solstices  June  21 01 59    Dec   21 14 04 
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2009                        2009 
Perihelion  Jan   4 17    Equinoxes  Mar   20 13 44    Sept  22 23 18 
Aphelion    July  4 04    Solstices  June  21 07 45    Dec   21 19 47 
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2010                        2010 
Perihelion  Jan   3 02    Equinoxes  Mar   20 19 32    Sept  23 05 09 
Aphelion    July  6 13    Solstices  June  21 13 28    Dec   22 01 38 
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2011                        2011 
Perihelion  Jan   3 21    Equinoxes  Mar   21 01 21    Sept  23 11 04 
Aphelion    July  4 17    Solstices  June  21 19 16    Dec   22 07 30 
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2012                        2012 
Perihelion  Jan   5 02    Equinoxes  Mar   20 07 14    Sept  22 16 49 
Aphelion    July  5 05    Solstices  June  21 01 09    Dec   21 13 11 
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2013                        2013 
Perihelion  Jan   2 07    Equinoxes  Mar   20 13 02    Sept  22 22 44 
Aphelion    July  5 17    Solstices  June  21 07 04    Dec   21 19 11 
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2014                        2014 
Perihelion  Jan   4 14    Equinoxes  Mar   20 18 57    Sept  23 04 29 
Aphelion    July  4 02    Solstices  June  21 12 51    Dec   22 01 03 
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2015                        2015 
Perihelion  Jan   4 09    Equinoxes  Mar   21 00 45    Sept  23 10 20 
Aphelion    July  6 21    Solstices  June  21 18 38    Dec   22 06 48 
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2016                        2016 
Perihelion  Jan   3 01    Equinoxes  Mar   20 06 30    Sept  22 16 21 
Aphelion    July  4 18    Solstices  June  21 00 34    Dec   21 12 44 
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2017                        2017 
Perihelion  Jan   4 16    Equinoxes  Mar   20 12 28    Sept  22 22 02 
Aphelion    July  3 22    Solstices  June  21 06 24    Dec   21 18 28 
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2018                        2018 
Perihelion  Jan   3 08    Equinoxes  Mar   20 18 15    Sept  23 03 54 
Aphelion    July  6 19    Solstices  June  21 12 07    Dec   22 00 22 
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2019                        2019 
Perihelion  Jan   3 07    Equinoxes  Mar   20 23 58    Sept  23 09 50 
Aphelion    July  5 00    Solstices  June  21 17 54    Dec   22 06 19 
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2020                        2020 
Perihelion  Jan   5 10    Equinoxes  Mar   20 05 49    Sept  22 15 30 
Aphelion    July  4 14    Solstices  June  20 23 43    Dec   21 12 02

Source: U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Dept.