I like mentioning it (and will tonight on the news) because it’s anti intuitive. Who would expect the Earth and Sun to be closest when we’re our coldest?
Perihelion is part of a small set of facts most people don’t know. Let me help you win your next barroom bet!
The Earth’s orbit isn’t circular. The Earth’s orbit is (close to) an ellipse. We’re 3,000,000 miles closer to the Sun today than in July. As you see that distance is inconsequential in the heating department.
The four seasons are not equal length! Summer plus spring is around a week longer than fall plus winter. Johannes Kepler had this figured out in 1609. Thank heaven for small favors!
spring 92.76 days
summer 93.65 days
fall 89.84 days
winter 88.99 days
The first day of autumn and spring do not have equal day and night! They would if we had no atmosphere and didn’t measure from the moment the Sun breaks the horizon until it falls below it (adding the extra time it takes for the Sun’s diameter to pass the horizon to our day).
It’s as if a big, nerdy weight has been lifted off my shoulders!