Closest to the Sun


We will be closest to our Sun for 2021 today, January 2, at 13:51 UTC. That was just now for Paradelle at 8:51 a.m. Eastern Time.

No, it did not feel any warmer. That’s not how the seasons and temperatures on Earth work. Astronomers call this perihelion –  the closest point in Earth’s elliptical orbit around that nearby star. (Greek roots peri + helios for near + sun.)

How close is closest?  Today we are 91,399,453 miles (147,093,162 km) away from the Sun. On my wife’s birthday, July 5, we will be at aphelion (most distant point)  which is 94,510,889 miles (152,100,533 km) away. We are about 3 million miles (5 million km) closer now than in July.

And yet it is a wintry cold here in the Northern Hemisphere because distance does not set the seasons (though it does affect seasonal lengths).

Now, we are moving fastest in our orbit around that star at almost 19 miles per second (30.3 km/sec). I thought I felt a little dizzy the past few days.

Hang on tight.

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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