The Earth is closest to the Sun, or at the perihelion, about 2 weeks after the December Solstice, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The perihilion this year will be January 3, 2019 at 5:19am Universal Standard Time; that is, January 2, 2019 at 11:19pm Central Standard Time and 9:19pm Pacific Standard Time. The distance from the Sun’s center to Earth’s center will be 147,099,760 kilometers, or 91,403,554 miles.
As you might have already surmised, the word “perihelion” stems from the Greek roots peri meaning near and helios meaning sun. The Earth is closest to the Sun, or at the perihelion, about 2 weeks after the December Solstice, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, the Earth is farthest away from the Sun, at the aphelion point, 2 weeks after the June Solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying warm summer months.
Why should you care? If you’re interested in solar magick, this would be a great time to tap into that energy!
In other astronomy news, Axios reports that today “… NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is expected to make history by conducting the most distant flyby ever, by zooming past an object a billion miles past Pluto. It’s called ‘Ultima Thule,’ meaning ‘beyond the known world.'” NASA spacecraft to make record-setting flyby on New Year’s.