# How far are the planets from the Sun?

##### April 22, 2014 by Elizabeth Howell, Universe Today

The eight planets in our solar system each occupy their own orbits around the Sun. They orbit the star in ellipses, which means their distance to the sun varies depending on where they are in their orbits. When they get closest to the Sun, it's called perihelion, and when it's farthest away, it's called aphelion.

So to talk about how far the planets are from the is a difficult question, not only because their distances constantly change, but also because the spans are so immense—making it hard for a human to grasp. For this reason, astronomers often use a term called , representing the from the Earth to the Sun.

The table below (first created by Universe Today founder Fraser Cain in 2008) shows all the planets and their distance to the Sun, as well as how close these get to Earth.

Mercury

• Closest: 46 million km / 29 million miles (.307 AU)
• Furthest: 70 million km / 43 million miles (.466 AU)
• Average: 57 million km / 35 million miles (.387 AU)
• Closest to Mercury from Earth: 77.3 million km / 48 million miles

Venus

• Closest: 107 million km / 66 million miles (.718 AU)
• Furthest: 109 million km / 68 million miles (.728 AU)
• Average: 108 million km / 67 million miles (.722 AU)
• Closest to Venus from Earth: 40 million km / 25 million miles

Earth

• Closest: 147 million km / 91 million miles (.98 AU)
• Furthest: 152 million km / 94 million miles (1.1 AU)
• Average: 150 million km / 93 million miles (1 AU)

Mars

• Closest: 205 million km / 127 million miles (1.38 AU)
• Furthest: 249 million km / 155 million miles (1.66 AU)
• Average: 228 million km / 142 million miles (1.52 AU)
• Closest to Mars from Earth: 55 million km / 34 million miles

Jupiter

• Closest: 741 million km /460 million miles (4.95 AU)
• Furthest: 817 million km / 508 million miles (5.46 AU)
• Average: 779 million km / 484 million miles (5.20 AU)
• Closest to Jupiter from Earth: 588 million km / 346 million miles

Saturn

• Closest: 1.35 billion km / 839 million miles (9.05 AU)
• Furthest: 1.51 billion km / 938 million miles (10.12 AU)
• Average: 1.43 billion km / 889 million miles (9.58 AU)
• Closest to Saturn from Earth: 1.2 billion km /746 million miles

Uranus

• Closest: 2.75 billion km / 1.71 billion miles (18.4 AU)
• Furthest: 3.00 billion km / 1.86 billion miles (20.1 AU)
• Average: 2.88 billion km / 1.79 billion miles (19.2 AU)
• Closest to Uranus from Earth: 2.57 billion km / 1.6 billion miles

Neptune

• Closest: 4.45 billion km /2.77 billion miles (29.8 AU)
• Furthest: 4.55 billion km / 2.83 billion miles (30.4 AU)
• Average: 4.50 billion km / 2.8 billion miles (30.1 AU)
• Closest to Neptune from Earth: 4.3 billion km / 2.7 billion miles

As a special bonus, we'll include Pluto too, even though Pluto is not a planet anymore.

Pluto

• Closest: 4.44 billion km / 2.76 billion miles (29.7 AU)
• Furthest: 7.38 billion km / 4.59 billion miles (49.3 AU)
• Average: 5.91 billion km / 3.67 billion miles (39.5 AU)
• Closest to Pluto from Earth: 4.28 billion km / 2.66 billion miles

Explore further: Big and Bright Asteroid to Pass by Earth June 14

More information: Online resources demonstrating the scale of the Solar System:

If The Moon Were Only A Pixel (Josh Worth Art & Design)Scale Model Of Our Solar System (University of Manitoba)Build A Solar System (Exploratorium)Scale Solar System (Josh Wetenkamp)

Many cities and countries have also installed scale models of the Solar System, such as:

Voyage Scale Solar System (Washington, D.C.)Sagan Planet Walk (Ithaca, N.Y.)Maine Solar System ModelSweden Solar SystemPlanet Walk (Munich, Germany)The Solar System (Brittany, France; website in French only)Solar System Drive (Australia)

## Related Stories

#### Big and Bright Asteroid to Pass by Earth June 14

June 14, 2012

An unusually large and bright near-Earth asteroid was recently discovered and it will make its closest approach to Earth on June 14 at about 23:10 UTC. The object is so bright, the Slooh Observatory will attempt to have a ...

#### Newly found asteroid to pass within Moon's orbit on March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

A newly found asteroid will pass just inside the orbit of the Moon, with its closest approach on March 4, 2013 at 07:35 UTC. Named 2013 EC, the asteroid is about the size of the space rock that exploded over Russia two and ...

#### A new view of comet ISON

May 3, 2013

Here's a new image of Comet C/2012 S1 ISON, as seen on May 1, 2013 by Ernesto Guido and Nick Howes of the Remanzacco Observatory. They used the 2 meter La Palma Telescope. Their initial approximation of the tail length is ...

#### 42 million km saved Earth from dry, Venus-like fate, study reports

May 29, 2013

Similar in size and often referred to as twin planets, Earth and Venus evolved from common origins into two contrasting worlds - one dry and inhospitable, the other wet and teeming with life.

#### Prometheus practices its pull

February 10, 2014

Lit by eerie, reflected light from Saturn's F ring (and a casting a faint shadow through a haze of icy "mist") Saturn's moon Prometheus can be seen in the raw image above, captured by Cassini's narrow-angle camera on Feb. ...

#### New comet Jacques may pass 8.4 million miles from Venus this July

March 17, 2014

On March 13, Cristovao Jacques and the SONEAR team snared C/2014 E2 (Jacques) in CCD images taken with a 0.45-meter (17.7-inch) wide-field reflector at the SONEAR (Southern Observatory for Near Earth Asteroids Research) observatory ...

## Recommended for you

#### Astronomers discover a large cavity around the Tycho's supernova

August 23, 2016

Chinese astronomers have detected a large cavity existing around Tycho's supernova, also know as SN 1572, exhibiting stream-like structures. The findings, reported in a paper published Aug. 18 on arXiv.org, show that the ...

#### Why are we now? Researchers suggest life on Earth may be early in cosmic terms

August 23, 2016

Why are we now? We know that the universe is roughly 14 billion years old, and that someday it is likely to end—perhaps because of a Big Freeze, Big Rip or Big Crunch.

#### Mystery of 'eclipse wind' solved after 300 years

August 23, 2016

Edmund Halley – of Halley's Comet fame – noted the 'Chill and Damp which attended the Darkness' of an eclipse in 1715, causing 'some sense of Horror' among the spectators.

#### Image: Planck's flame-filled view of the Polaris Flare

August 23, 2016

This image from ESA's Planck satellite appears to show something quite ethereal and fantastical: a sprite-like figure emerging from scorching flames and walking towards the left of the frame, its silhouette a blaze of warm-hued ...

#### Fossilized rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

August 23, 2016

Extensive systems of fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago, according ...

#### What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

August 19, 2016

Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials turn out to look similar to us, or might they take a form beyond our wildest ...

## 1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank