Does the Sun feel any closer to you today? I don’t mean does it feel warmer – though you might assume that to be true if it was any closer. Tonight, January 2, 2019, Earth reaches its closest point to the Sun for this entire year.
The moment of this special point in our orbit is called perihelion, a word we get from the Greek roots peri (near) and helios (sun). The actual moment of perihelion will be 11:20 p.m. CST tonight.
Don’t expect to feel anything. Like most celestial occurrences, we don’t feel the effects immediately (like the change of seasons) or at all (like perihelion).
How close is close for the Sun? Earth will be 91,403,554 miles (147,099,761 km) from the Sun. Still, pretty far away. But in six months when we are farthest away (aphelion) and is most distant, the distance will be about 3 million miles (5 million km) further away.
Are you surprised that when we are farthest away from the sun in early July, it will be summer for us in the Northern Hemisphere.