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Utah Weather
5:33 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Earth At Closest Point To Sun Saturday- But Proximity Doesn't Equal Warmth

The earth is closest to the sun on Saturday.
Credit APRIL ASHLAND / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Saturday is the day the Earth will be closest to the sun this year, but don’t expect a heat wave. NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins said the change is such a small percentage of the total distance to the sun that mere earthlings like us won’t notice any difference.

“At closest, like now, we’re about 147 million kilometers out. At the furthest, it’s about 152 million,” he said.
What does make a difference to Earth’s temperatures and seasons, Wiggins said, is the 23.4 percent tilt of our planet on its axis.

“This time of year we here in the northern hemisphere are tilted away from the sun which means the sun is lower in the sky, it hits us at a much lower angle and it’s also in the sky for much less time than it is when we’re tilted toward the sun, so all of that works together to make it cold,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins said we in the northern hemisphere can expect a non-cooling trend as Earth moves away from the sun, reaching its farthest point in July.