EARTH – It might seem strange, but the Earth is closer to the sun tonight than any other time of the year.
It’s known as perihelion and the Earth is a mere 91.4 million miles away from the sun.
6 months from now, we’ll reach aphelion. At that point the Earth is about 94.5 million miles away from the sun.
We’re in what’s typically the coldest time of the year in the Quad Cities, so the distance to the sun clearly isn’t what causes our change in seasons.
The change in seasons is a result of the tilt of the Earth’s axis. The Northern hemisphere is pointing away from the sun right now, and that’s why it’s winter here and summer in the Southern hemisphere.
Come late June (when we hit our summer solstice) the Northern hemisphere will be pointing toward the sun more than any other time of the year.