How far is each planet?

How far each planet who is he the sun It is a more complex question than it appears. Each planet is in an elliptical orbit around the sun. This means that the orbits of the planets are elliptical, and therefore at different intervals the planets will be closer or farther from the Sun. Scale can be hard to understand Solar System. To help with this, astronomers began to use astronomical units. By having one astronomical unit equal to the average distance between a land and the Sun, astronomical units (AU) can provide an easier-to-understand scale.

inner solar system

The four rocky planets of the inner solar system. Image credit: NASA

Mercury It is the closest planet to the Sun with an average distance of 35 million miles. An elliptical orbit causes Mercury to come close to the Sun by 29 million miles and up to 43 million miles. To put this in size, Mercury averages 0.387 AU from the Sun. This means that Mercury is approximately one-third of the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

Venus It is the second planet from the sun and the closest planet to Earth. Venus orbits the Sun at an average distance of 0.722 AU, which is 67 million miles on average. Venus’ orbit causes it to deviate between 66 and 68 million miles from the sun.

Earth is the third planet from the sun on average distance: after One of the African Union. Scientists place astronomical units outside Earth, so one astronomical unit equals 93 million miles. It also has an elliptical orbit, the Earth can extend from 91 million miles from the sun to 94 million miles.

The last planet in the inner solar system is Mars. Mars orbits between 127 million miles and 155 million miles, and has an average distance of 142 million miles from the Sun. At 1.52 AU, Mars is 1.5 times farther from the Sun than Earth.

outer solar system

outer solar system
The four gas giants of the outer solar system. Image credit: NASA

The first in the outer solar system Jupiter. There is a huge jump in the distances between Mars and Jupiter, ranging from 460 million to 508 million miles from the sun. On average, Jupiter is 484 million miles from the Sun, or 5.2 astronomical units. For perspective, this shows that Earth’s orbit can fit between the Sun and Jupiter five times.

Saturn It is nearly twice as far from the Sun as Jupiter. Ranging from 839 million miles to 938 million miles, Saturn averages 9.58 AU (889 million miles) from the Sun. Earth’s orbit inside Saturn can be nearly ten times wider. The further away we are from the Sun, the planets begin to spread out exponentially.

Uranus It orbits at an average distance of 1.79 billion miles from the Sun. This can also be written as 19.2 AU. Uranus has a significant difference in nearest and farthest approach. Its farthest approach is 1.86 billion miles and only approaches 1.71 billion miles.

Neptune It is the farthest planet in the solar system. Neptune’s orbit ranges from 2.77 billion miles to 2.83 billion miles, and it has a giant orbit. That’s an average of 2.8 billion miles from the Sun or 30.1 AU.

Average distance from the sun in the solar system

planet Distance from the Sun (average) Astronomical units from the Sun (average)

Mercury

35 million miles

0.387 AU

Venus

67 million miles

0.722 Australia

a land

93 million miles

1 AU

Mars

142 million miles

1.52 AU

Jupiter

484 million miles

5.2 AU

Saturn

889 million miles

9.58 AU

Uranus

1.79 billion miles

19.2 AU

Neptune

2.8 billion miles

30.1 AU