At 7 p.m. CST, today, the Earth will reach its closest point of the year to the sun.
This is known as the perihelion. At the closest, the sun and Earth are about 91.4 million miles apart; at the greatest distance apart, another 3.1 million miles separates the two.
That occurs in July.
The Earth's distance from the sun varies because it doesn't orbit the sun in a perfect circle, instead tracking along a slightly flattened out circle known as an elliptical orbit.
If you could tell by looking, which you can't, the sun would appear about 3 percent larger today than on July 4.
The difference between January and July's distance is not enough to alter the climate on Earth. Instead, the tilt of the Earth — toward or away from the sun, is what determines seasons.
Source: National Weather Service/Cheyenne.