This Weekend: Sun Will be 7% Brighter
What? In the cold of winter? Yep.
At 7:51 AM on Saturday, January 2, the Earth will be only 91,399,453 miles away from the sun -- which is roughly three million miles closer than it will be at its furthest point in July. Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January. (perihelion)
But...why is it so cold? It's all about the tilt.
This time of the year the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. In summer, it's tilted towards the sun.
According to NASA, sunlight hitting Earth in January is about 7% more intense than it is in July. But the northern hemisphere has more land, while the southern hemisphere has more water. Sunlight raises the temperature of land more than it does oceans. Oceans cover 81% of the Southern Hemisphere, compared to only 61% in the Northern Hemisphere
During the summer, the sun’s light does not spread out as much, so the sun's energy is more concentrated. Also, the longer daytime hours give us plenty of time to reach warmer temperatures.
During the winter, the sun’s rays are more spread out, meaning less energy is hitting us. Plus, the long nights and short days gives us less time to warm up.
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