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Shimmerings
Enchanted Learning® Photoblog      Posted July 4, 2012   2:02 pm

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Sunspots at Aphelion
 
Sunspots at Aphelion

The Earth follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun, with the Sun at one focus of the ellipse. This photo was taken about 11 hours before aphelion, the point in our orbit where the Earth is farthest from the Sun.

People in the Northern Hemisphere are sometimes surprised that the Earth is farthest from the Sun during summer, but the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis, not by Earth's varying distance to the Sun.

At around the time of this photograph, there was a solar flare originating in Active Region 1513, which is the single isolated sunspot near the top of the picture. (The flare itself cannot be seen, since that requires specialized equipment in addition to the filter used.)
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Date taken: July 4, 2012
Place taken: Mercer Island, WA, USA
Mitchell Spector
Copyright ©2012 Enchanted Learning, LLC

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