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Earth was closest to Sun today this year; notwithstanding the cold weather around the world!

Today, (Jan 2) Earth is closest to the Sun for this year (2013).  This point is called perihelion.  The point at which the earth is the farthest is called aphelion.  Today Earth was just 91,402,560 miles from the sun; while at its furthest it will be 94,508,960 miles away.

While many would think that the size of the sun should increase.  It does.  But it is not really noticeable to the normal eye.  The size increase is just 3.4%.  Earth’s eccentricity – or how elliptical the Earth’s orbit is around the Sun – is very low at 1.7%. Still this much makes a difference of five million kilometer (147.5 million km vs 152.6 million km). This difference means that Earth today got 7% more sunlight on an overall basis than on July 5th, when it will be the farthest.

US is right now going through a cold front – and the breaking of the ice between the two parties on Fiscal Cliff didn’t help either.  Right now, 66% of the country is covered in snow compared to last year’s 19.8%


Interestingly, meanwhile New Delhi, India had its coldest day in 44 years, which led to 20 deaths.  Apparently, the world’s weather doesn’t care much about the planet’s closeness to the Sun.

Source: Spaceweather . CBS News


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