Sun closest to Earth on this cold winter day

Sunrise on Drayton Passage Saturday Jan. 2, 2015, in Longbranch, Washington.
Sunrise on Drayton Passage on the second day of the new year was absolutely stunning.
maddee in frost
The Goofy Goldendoodle playing in our frozen pasture oblivious to the irony that today the sun is closest to Earth all year.

Frost is crawling up the cedar planks on our deck, our sun deserted us a few ticks before the 5 o’clock news yesterday, and it is downright gloomy on the second day of the year.

Fog is drifting across Drayton Passage — a balmy 32 degrees compared to yesterday’s arctic freeze.

My Lovely Bride and the Goofy Goldendoodle are both still sound asleep, more than an hour before sunrise.

All is quiet on the Key Peninsula’s southern tip.

The chime of a new email broke my morning coffee reverie. Subject line: “Earth closest to sun on January 2.”

Say again?

According to earth sky.org, “On January 2, 2016, our planet Earth reaches its closest point to the sun for this year at (2:49 p.m. PT). This is Earth’s perihelion. The word perihelion is from Greek roots peri meaning near, and helios meaning sun.”

I know what you’re thinking: If we are closest to the sun right now, why is it winter, and cold? The website explains:

Despite what many may think, Earth’s distance from the sun isn’t what causes the seasons. On Earth, because our orbit is so close to being circular, it’s mostly the tilt of our world’s axis that creates winter and summer. In winter, your part of Earth is tilted away from the sun. In summer, your part of Earth is tilted toward the sun. The day of maximum tilt toward or away from the sun is the December or June solstice.”

Now you know.

Good morning Longbranch.

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