ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Think you’re a weather buff who knows their stuff? See if you can correctly guess this WFXR Weather Trivia question!
When is the Earth closest to the sun?
This Earth’s orbit is an ellipse, or slightly oval-shaped. This means there is one point on the orbit that is closest to the sun and one point that is farthest away. Perihelion is the point in the Earth’s orbit where the planet is closest to the sun.
The Earth’s perihelion always occurs in early January, about two weeks after the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice.
In 2023, Earth will be at perihelion on Jan. 4 at 11:17 a.m. EST. During that time, the Earth’s center will be 91,403,034 miles away from the sun’s center.
Keep in mind, the Earth’s perihelion and aphelion—the Earth’s farthest point from the sun—have nothing to do with seasons; the seasons are a result of the Earth’s tilt.
However, when the Earth is farther from the sun, it moves a little slower in its orbit than it does during the close approach. This makes the northern hemisphere’s winter about five days shorter than its summer season.