This weekend⁠—and more specifically⁠—this Sunday morning at 2:48 AM, Michigan will be closer to the sun than we will be for the rest of the year. It just won't feel that way.

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Sunday morning, the Earth will be at its closest point to the sun in our oval shaped orbit. That place in our orbit is called "perihelion." At that time, according to, the sun will "only" be 91,398,199 miles away. At the opposite point—"aphelion," which happens on or around July 4th—the sun will be about 94,500,000 miles away, or 3 million miles more distant. It would make sense that Sunday would be the better day to catch some rays on a Lake Michigan beach. But, because the Earth tilts at 23.5 degrees, due to being heavier on top (go ahead—make your joke), Michigan will be tilted away from the sun this weekend and tilted toward the sun in July. That tilt makes all the difference in the world and is the reason we get different, distinct seasons. That and the fact that the moon stabilizes the tilt.

So, thank you, Earth, for being one of the stable and predictable planets. Not like some of the OTHER planets in the neighborhood. Yeah—I'm looking at you Venus and Uranus.

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