Thursday, January 05, 2012

Earth is Closest to the Sun Today, Jan.5th - When 2012 began on January 1, our planet Earth was very close to its perihelion – its closest point to the sun for the year. In 2012, Earth will be closest to the sun on Thursday, January 5 at 1 hour Universal Time (UT). Translating UT to Central Time in the United Sates, perihelion happens today, on Wednesday, January 4, at 7:00 p.m.

The word “perihelion” is from the Greek words peri meaning near, and helios meaning sun.

Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January, when it’s winter for the Northern Hemisphere. We’re farthest away from the sun in early July, during our Northern Hemisphere summer. So you can see that Earth’s distance from the sun isn’t what causes the seasons. On Earth, it’s mostly the tilt of our world’s axis that creates winter and summer. In winter, your part of Earth is tilted away from the sun. In summer, your part of Earth is tilted toward the sun. The day of maximum tilt toward or away from the sun is the December or June solstice. [...readmore]