The latest sunrises of the year are this week

From The Sky This Week, 2019 January 2 – 8:

For those of you who find it hard to get up in the dark during these early winter mornings, take heart. This week is when we experience the latest sunrises of the year. … By the start of next week the time of sunrise will gradually shift earlier …

Earth reaches perihelion, its closest point to the Sun in its annual circuit around our “day star”, on the 3rd at 12:20 am EST. At this time the center of the Earth will be 147,100,000 kilometers (91,400,000 miles) from the center of the Sun. The annual variation in our planet’s distance from the Sun is quite small, amounting to a change of around 3 percent between perihelion and aphelion. This is fortunate for us since it maintains a stable climate throughout the year. Of all of the major planets only Neptune has an orbit that is more nearly circular.

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