The Sun and Earth move in predictable ways and have a mutually influencing relationship. For one thing, the average distance between Earth and the Sun is not constant from year to year. photo/live science
On average, Earth is about 150 million kilometers from the Sun. Although the orbit is not perfectly circular, slightly elliptical or oval in shape, according to NASA, this means that the Earth’s distance from the Sun can range from about 91.4 million to 94.5 million miles.
The movement of the Sun and the Earth from time to time clearly affects the distance between them. As a result, the average pull between the Earth and the Sun gradually increases over time.
There are two main reasons for this increasing distance. One is that the Sun loses mass (shrinks) and this causes the Earth to tidal.
The Sun is constantly producing energy, so it is constantly losing mass. During the rest of the Sun’s lifetime, estimated to be about 5 billion more years, NASA predicts that the Sun will lose about 0.1% of its total mass over time before dying completely.
“While 0.1% may not sound like a lot, it is in fact a lot of mass. Its mass (0.1%) is almost the same as that of Jupiter. While Jupiter is estimated to be about 318 times the mass of Earth,” said Brian DiGiorgio. said, an astronomer at the University of California at Santa Cruz told Live Science, Monday (8/8/2022).
The movement of the Sun, like the gravitational pull of the Moon, affects the tides on Earth. However, these tidal forces have a very weak effect on Earth’s orbit, causing the Earth to move about 0.0003 cm away from the Sun every year.
The force of gravitational attraction of an object is proportional to the amount of its mass. As the Sun loses mass, its pull toward Earth weakens, causing our planet to drift away at about 6 centimeters per year. “It’s quite negligible, especially compared to the typical variation in Earth’s slightly elliptical orbital distance, about 3%,” DiGiorgio said.