Venus's 225-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to
the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 0.72 AU.
In practice, however, Venus's orbit is very close to circular –
in fact it is the most perfectly circular orbit of any of the Solar System's
planets – varying in its distance from the Sun by only about 1.5%
between perihelion and aphelion.
This means that whilst Venus technically receives more energy from the
Sun when close to perihelion, in practice other phenomena such as the
reflection of solar radiation back to space by the thick clouds in its
atmosphere have a much more significant effect on its weather systems.
For example, its phenomenally high surface temperatures – in places
exceeding 460°C and hot enough to melt lead – are not so much a
result of its being closer to the Sun than the Earth, but rather due to the
fact that its thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide generates the strongest known
instance of the greenhouse effect.
The detailed circumstances of this event are:
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
The sky on Thu, 23 January 2014
The circumstances of this event were computed from the DE405 ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
© NASA/Ricardo Nunes