Perihelion is when a planet or other object orbiting the sunĀ is closest to the sun. Aphelion is when it’s farthest from the sun. Any object that’s not in a perfectly circular orbit will have a perihelion and an aphelion. The faster an object orbits the sun, the more often it goes through these points. Mercury is at perihelion four times in 2017. Venus goes through perihelion twice. Since our calendar is linked to our planet’s orbit, Earth is at perihelion exactly once per year. Farther away from the sun, the planets take years to go through successive perihelia and aphelia. You’ll find Jupiter at aphelion in 2017, but its next perihelion is in 2023. If you want to look farther ahead, go to the searchable events page which will let you find events as far ahead as 2029.

Here are perihelion times in 2017 for the planets going through it during the year and for some asteroids. All dates and times are in Universal Time.

Jan-04 14:18 Earth at perihelion 0.983 AU (approx. 147 million km or 91.4 million mi) from Sun.
Feb-20 16:58 Venus at perihelion 0.718 AU (approx. 107 million km or 66.7 million mi) from Sun.
Mar-23 14:03 Mercury at perihelion 0.308 AU (approx. 46.1 million km or 28.6 million mi) from Sun.
Apr-29 16:34 Eros at perihelion 1.133 AU (approx. 169.5 million km or 105.3 million mi) from Sun.
Jun-19 13:22 Mercury at perihelion 0.307 AU (approx. 45.9 million km or 28.5 million mi) from Sun.
Jul-20 09:58 Flora at perihelion 1.856 AU (approx. 277.7 million km or 172.5 million mi) from Sun.
Sep-15 12:36 Mercury at perihelion 0.307 AU (approx. 45.9 million km or 28.5 million mi) from Sun.
Oct-03 05:56 Venus at perihelion 0.718 AU (approx. 107 million km or 66.7 million mi) from Sun.
Nov-18 08:04 Iris at perihelion 1.834 AU (approx. 274.4 million km or 170.5 million mi) from Sun.
Dec-12 11:48 Mercury at perihelion 0.307 AU (approx. 45.9 million km or 28.5 million mi) from Sun.

Here are aphelion times in 2017 for the planets and some asteroids going through it. All dates and times are in Universal Time.

Feb-07 14:26 Mercury at aphelion 0.467 AU (approx. 69.9 million km or 43.4 million mi) from Sun.
Feb-16 09:37 Jupiter at aphelion 5.457 AU (approx. 816.4 million km or 507.3 million mi) from Sun.
May-06 13:38 Mercury at aphelion 0.467 AU (approx. 69.9 million km or 43.4 million mi) from Sun.
Jun-12 21:18 Venus at aphelion 0.728 AU (approx. 109 million km or 67.7 million mi) from Sun.
Jul-03 20:11 Earth at aphelion 1.017 AU (approx. 152.1 million km or 94.54 million mi) from Sun.
Aug-02 12:56 Mercury at aphelion 0.467 AU (approx. 69.9 million km or 43.4 million mi) from Sun.
Oct-07 22:28 Mars at aphelion 1.666 AU (approx. 249.2 million km or 154.9 million mi) from Sun.
Oct-29 12:16 Mercury at aphelion 0.467 AU (approx. 69.9 million km or 43.4 million mi) from Sun.

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