Closest to the Sun

January 4, 2017: You would think that being as close to the Sun as we are right now, the weather would be a little warmer?

earths orbit2

That’s right: as of today, the Earth is at the closest point in its orbit with the Sun.

earths orbit

Here’s some neat trivia for you: it seems counter intuitive, yet it happens every January. The Earth’s orbit isn’t quite a regular circle, and more of an ellipse. This leads to the Earth being closer and farther away from the Sun at different times during the year.

earths orbit3

During the summer, we are get to be as far away from the Sun as possible within Earth’s orbit. The key point here- our seasons have a lot more to do with the tilt of the Earth and less to do with Earth’s position in its orbit. Right now, the Northern Hemisphere (the part we live in) is tilted away from the Sun as much as it can, leading to less energy getting to our part of the globe. We passed the farthest tilt point on Dec. 21 (the winter solstice, the start of Winter), and will be tilting slowly toward the Sun more and more until the start of Summer (the summer solstice).

-Alex

 

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on January 4, 2017

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