Is Earth getting closer to the sun, or farther away?

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The sun moves in such a predictable way across the sky that you might never suspect that its relationship with Earth is changing all the time. In fact, the average distance between Earth and the sun is not static year over year. So do we know if Earth is getting closer to or farther from the sun? And what forces are acting on our planet and our star to make this happen?

In short, the sun is getting farther away from Earth over time. On average, Earth is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from the sun, according to NASA (opens in new tab). However, its orbit is not perfectly circular; it’s slightly elliptical, or oval-shaped. This means Earth’s distance from the sun can range from about 91.4 million to 94.5 million miles (147.1 million to 152.1 million km), NASA (opens in new tab) says.

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