the closest point will obviously be the point which lies perpendicular to the surface ie. at an angle of 90 degrees. i did this problem somewhere but i forgot the technique. u can assume a point O(x,y,z) on the surface and then carry out calculations keeping in mind the facts:OP is perpendicular to the surface and O satisfies the surface equation. there is also a shortcut involving dot product and cross product which i dont remember well. hope this helps!!!