Have you tried to look directly at the sun yet today? Good luck finding it, chump – that thing is so far away it's practically in another zipcode.
LiveScience.com reports that, at 12:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, the Earth reached "aphelion," the point in its orbit when it is farthest from the sun.
Normally, Earth is about 93 million miles from the sun. As of Thursday, it's 94.5 million miles away.
Imagine you are in the middle of a great story when you turn to check that your friend is still listening. All of a sudden, you realize your friend is 1.5 million miles away. That's the kind of bullshit the Earth pulled with the sun today.
Unfortunately for those currently experiencing weather patterns known in the culinary world as "flambé," temperatures on Earth are affected more by the tilt of the planet's axis than its distance from the star. So, even though the sun is but a distant memory to us now, the country's heatwave will rage on.
Typically what happens after the Earth reaches aphelion is that the planet continues in its orbit with no problems, eventually reaching perihelion—the point at which it comes closest to the sun—sometime in early January.
However, we cannot discount the possibility that Earth might buck the trend this year and just keep spinning farther and farther out into space, eventually slipping so far away that its days are cast into eternal frozen nights.