# How far away is Mercury from the Earth, NASA?

The spacecraft was 183 million kilometers (114 million miles) away from Earth at the time, which was greater than our usual distance from the Sun (150 million kilometers, or 93 million miles) since Mercury and Earth were in separate orbits around the Sun.

At its closest approach to the Sun on April 15, 2008, Mercury will be about 485,000 kilometers (298,000 miles) away from the center of the solar system. Because it takes 90 days for Mercury's orbit to complete one rotation around the Sun, this point in time will also mark its next return to perihelion (its closest approach to the Sun).

Such close approaches are dangerous because the heat energy from the Sun can destroy any material surface, including that of Mercury. The last time Mercury was this close to the Sun was 3785 BC. It took then until 1943 to transmit data back to Earth because technology at the time did not allow for a continuous connection.

Even though Mercury is almost completely covered by craters from impact events, many large planets have similarly damaged surfaces. The reason is that each time a planet passes in front of the Sun, the top layer of their atmosphere is burned off, revealing the dark rock below. The amount of radiation a planet receives depends on several factors such as size, distance from the Sun, and shape.

## How many astronomical units is mercury away from the Sun?

Mercury is 0.4 astronomical units distant from the Sun at an average distance of 36 million miles (58 million kilometers). The distance between the Sun and Earth is measured in astronomical units (abbreviated as AU). One astronomical unit is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is approximately 150 million miles (241 million km).

Because Mercury orbits the Sun in less than eight days, it moves around the Sun faster than any other planet except for Venus, which takes about 12 hours to orbit the Sun. As a result, over a single year, Mercury travels more than 40 AU, while the Earth only moves about 30 AU.

These distances are very large when compared with those of other planets or satellites. For example, Jupiter is 588 AU from the Sun, so that it covers a distance equal to the solar diameter in just over 10 months. Saturn is 944 AU from the Sun, so that it covers the same distance as the solar diameter in just under 11 years. Uranus is 1752 AU from the Sun, so that it covers the same distance as the solar diameter in more than five and a half years. Neptune is 2268 AU from the Sun, so that it covers the same distance as the solar diameter in more than nine and a half years.

## What is 93 million miles away from the Earth?

The Sun's The sun is around 150 billion meters (93 million miles) away from Earth. So the solar system's most important source of energy is also its least efficient way to produce it: It takes six feet of solid metal about the size of a bedroom wall to generate one kilowatt hour of electricity.

Solar power has been proposed as an alternative source of energy for centuries, but it is only recently that it has become a viable option. Solar technology has come a long way since early experiments in the 1800s by Thomas Edison and others. Today's solar cells are made from semiconductors that can convert sunlight into electrical energy with a high degree of efficiency. There are several different types of solar-cell technologies including crystalline silicon, thin film, and polymer.

In theory, solar power could be used as an alternative energy source for the entire world. In practice, however, it is still very expensive when compared with other sources of energy, so it is not widely used at this time.

## What is the perihelion and aphelion of Mercury?

Mercury is about 46.0 million km from the Sun at "perihelion" (the orbital point closest to the Sun), and 69.8 million km at "aphelion" (the orbital point furthest from the Sun). Its average distance from the Sun is 57.9 million km.

The perihelion and aphelion distances are important parameters in understanding how planets move around the Sun. They also play a role in determining how much radiation each planet receives.

For example, if Mercury moved closer to the Sun then it would be too hot for liquid water to exist on its surface. It is also possible that there is ice buried under the crust of Mercury. If so, it would provide evidence that the planet has experienced global warming and possibly even life as we know it!

So far, all the solar probes have been destroyed during close approaches to the Sun. However, NASA plans to send another spacecraft called MAVEN to study Mercury from afar starting in 2014.

MAVEN will be launched on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

It will be the first mission to orbit both Mars and Earth's nearest planet.

## How far is the earth from the sun right now?

151,558,819 miles The current distance between the Sun and the Earth is 151,558,819 kilometers, or 1.013108 Astronomical Units. A Uterus is about 5 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. The average human female uterus weighs approximately 15 ounces or 420 grams. There are approximately 500 million women in the world, so the average woman's uterus weighs about 60 tons! The weight of the Earth is about 5.9 billion tons, so your uterus is only 0.00004% of the mass of the Earth.

The Earth orbits the Sun at a distance of about 150 million miles (241 million km), so you could say that the Earth moves around the Sun once every year on average. But because it takes 365 days for the Earth to complete one rotation on its axis, you could also say that we experience one full day of sunlight every year. On average, it is always daylight somewhere on the planet, and it is never dark - even under the oceans where no sunlight reaches. The only time when it is completely dark on the Earth is when the Sun is completely blocked out by an object between us and it, such as a moon or another planet.

During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out all direct sunlight from a given area.

## How far away from our sun is the comet?

The path of the comet began more than 3.7 trillion miles (6 trillion kilometers) from the sun, or 40,000 astronomical units. One astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun.

When a comet approaches Earth it is called a "perihelion passage." During a perihelion passage, the gravity of Earth pulls on the comet's nucleus, causing it to elongate like a rubber band being pulled tight. As the nucleus becomes longer, its surface area increases, so more sunlight is absorbed during close approaches. This heating causes the coma to expand away from the comet's head.

Comets are very fragile objects with a makeup similar to ice and dust. They must have the right conditions to form: cold enough temperatures and long enough periods of time for molecules to bond together into larger and larger pieces until one day you have a comet. As the comet travels through space it is exposed to radiation from the sun and other stars. This radiation can break down molecular bonds, which leaves behind only the most stable elements, such as hydrogen and oxygen.

When a comet passes close to Jupiter or Saturn, their powerful gravitational fields bend the comet's path slightly each time it returns. The closer the comet comes to these planets, the more times it will pass by them before heading back out toward the edge of the solar system.

##### Kerri Ivory

Kerri Ivory has been practicing yoga and mindfulness for over 20 years. She completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Kripalu in 2001. Kerri is a certified Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Instructor through Elsonâ€™s International School of Yogic Science and she teaches workshops locally, nationally, and internationally on the topics of spirituality, astrology, and mindfulness.