We Are Closer To The Sun….So Why Is It Cold?

The Earth is at its closest point to the sun today.  It’s called perihelion.  At this point we’re only a scant 91 million miles way from the star.  In summer, we are farthest away from the sun, about 94 million miles.  That’s called aphelion.  But doesn’t that seem backwards, that we’re closest to the sun during our coldest time of the year?

Actually, the changing distance between the sun and the earth has absolutely no effect on our temperatures.  The reason for the change of seasons, and corresponding changes in temperatures is because the earth is tilted on its axis.  That 23 and a half degree tilt means that the northern hemisphere is tilted AWAY from the sun in the winter.  That means less of the sun’s energy reaches out part if the earth, and therefore it’s colder.  In summer, the northern hemisphere is tilted TOWARD the sun.  We receive more solar energy and we’re hotter.

So happy perihelion everybody!

Rick

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