Happy Earth's Perihelion Day; When Earth is Closest to the Sun - What? It's Winter!

The Sun as it appeared just a few hours before perihelion 2015, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image is in the far ultraviolet, emphasizing the corona, the star's outer atmosphere. Note the "coronal hole" near the bottom, where the solar wind streams away from the Sun.Photo by NASA / SDO / Helioviewer.org

NASA and writer Phil Plait for Slate magazine, tells us that tonight marks the point where the Earth is closest to the Sun all year and it's called the perihelion. What? But it's Winter time? How can that be? I must have missed my college astronomy class that day, tho I doubt I'm the only one.

I know it's the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth that gives us our seasons, but I hadn't realized that the tilt plays a larger influence on temperature than our distance from the Sun. 

After reading his other previous article about this, it turns out that another piece of information I hadn't realized is that Earth's elliptical path is not as "elliptical" as I first imagined. It's actually only slightly elliptical. This slight variation must have kept Keppler up all night, after night, after night until... "Ja das ist es!" (pun intended). 

Am I the only one who misunderstood this?

Read more about this years event here. 

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