66.7 million kilometers. It is just 66.7 million miles (107 million km) away at its closest (perihelion) and 67.7 million miles (108.9 million km) distant at its furthest (aphelion).
Venus is the planet that most people think is the closest to the Sun because it can be seen from Earth with the unaided eye under certain conditions. However, it isn't actually closer than any other planet to our star; instead, it passes between Earth and the Sun as it orbits them both. Its average distance from the Sun is 59.5 million kilometers (37.4 million miles), but it can range in distance from 57 million kilometers (35 million miles) to 63 million kilometers (39 million miles). The reason we can see it so clearly from Earth is because it passes directly over us at these distances.
Earth's orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle, but an ellipse with one major axis of about 606,000 kilometers (372,000 miles) and a minor axis of 547,000 kilometers (344,000 miles). Because Venus takes approximately 225 days to make one full orbit, it spends most of its time more than 100 million kilometers away from Earth. Only when it is very close to Earth do we get to see it up close and personal.
About 746 million miles When they are closest together, they are 746 million miles (1.2 billion kilometers) apart, or eight times the distance between the Earth and the sun.
This happens in April and May, when the planet Saturn is on the other side of the Sun from the Earth. At this time, we can only see it with our telescopes from the outside edge of our solar system, beyond Pluto. But even though we can't see it with the naked eye, it's still a beautiful object to look at in a telescope. It's called the Rings of Saturn because even though we can't see them with the naked eye, they do play an important role in how we understand Saturn's environment.
Saturn has many rings that are made up of countless particles of ice and rock that were once part of larger objects such as moons or planets. Over time, these small particles have been gravitationally torn apart by Saturn's powerful magnetic field. The material then forms a ring around the planet. Although we can't see the dust with the unaided eye, it makes up more than half of Saturn's diameter. The largest ring is called the F Ring because it's formed from debris left over from another moon that was destroyed by Saturn.
The F Ring was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.
225,623 kilometers The moon comes as near as 225,623 miles to Earth during perigee, its closest approach (363,104 kilometers). The moon is 252,088 miles (405,696 km) distant from Earth at apogee (its furthest point). The average distance between Earth and the moon is approximately 238,855 miles (384,400 km).
The nearest approach will be about 497,000 miles (794,600 km), when the Moon passes behind the Earth on April 15, 2034. At that time, it will appear as a black disk with diameter 0.5% that of the sky to observers on the ground.
The mean radius of the moon is 4,428 miles or 7,274 km. It has two slightly different surfaces: the far side is in darkness; the near side faces Earth, showing us all we need to know about our world's most important natural satellite!
The moon is actually shrinking. This is because it experiences erosion from solar wind particles and meteoroids hitting its surface. Over time this will reduce its size unless something stops it. So far, no evidence of anything else out there but science tells us that something must exist because otherwise the moon would have disappeared long ago.
The actual distance between Earth and the moon changes over time due to gravitational interactions between them. But because the moon doesn't run away from or towards Earth, these changes are very slow.
About 77 million kilometers Mercury is approximately 77 million kilometers (48 million miles) from Earth during its closest approach, and about 222 million kilometers (48 million miles) at its furthest (138 million miles).
The average distance between Earth and Mercury is about 865 million kilometers (530 million miles). It varies slightly because of their elliptical orbits.
Mercury has no atmosphere to speak of, only a thin veneer of gases given off by the heat of sunlight striking its surface. The planet's core is probably solid iron, but it is surrounded by a crust of gold-colored metals that are easily melted by the heat from within.
The gravity on Mercury is about 38 percent that of Earth, making it the smallest of the planets outside the Moon. Because of this, any objects placed in orbit around it will be unable to stay there for long; they will eventually fall into the planet's very dense surface.
It is estimated that 4 billion years ago, when Earth's environment was different, mercury may have had an ocean over half a mile deep. But because it's so close to the Sun, even today Mercury is too hot for water to remain liquid.
In addition to Earth and Mars, Mercury is one of the three inner planets.
However, because the Moon's orbit is elliptical, the distance changes during its orbit, ranging from roughly 252,088 miles (405,696 kilometers) at its furthest (apogee) to 225,622 miles (363,104 kilometers) at its closest (perigee). Its average distance from Earth is 239,762 miles (384,440 kilometers).
The Moon is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old and it has been Earth's natural satellite since its formation. The actual age of the lunar material that makes up the bulk of the moon is not known with certainty but current theories estimate that it was created approximately 4.567 billion years ago.
Lunar gravity is 1/6th that of Earth's gravity; however, because the Moon is so much smaller than Earth, this gravity is actually quite strong - about 1/3rd that of Earth at the surface. This means that you would feel about 1/3 of your weight on the Moon. If you weighed 100 pounds (45 kilograms) on Earth, you would only weigh 33 pounds (15 kilograms) on the Moon.
Because the Moon affects Earth's climate and body of water, scientists can use observations of the two objects together to learn more about their common origin and evolution.
The Sun is approximately 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away from Earth. The Alpha Centauri triple star system is its nearest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri is 4.24 light years away, while Alpha Centauri A and B—two stars circling each other—are 4.37 light years away.
The solar system is located in the Milky Way galaxy. It is a member of a group of galaxies called Virgo Supercluster. Virgo has 2,600 galaxies within it, and the supercluster contains billions of stars.
Astronomers use light years to estimate distance. Distance is how much change occurs in the direction of a body per unit time. For example, if you were to jump out of your spaceship right now and watch it go by, it would take it about 57,000 years to disappear. If we knew your exact position on Earth at that moment, we could calculate where in space you came from using just your name: Astronomers can do the same thing with stars and other objects inside our galaxy using information about their location in space and time. In this case, the name "Earth" is enough information to identify your planet exactly.
Light travels at around 300,000 km/s, so it takes about 8 minutes for sunlight to reach Earth from the Sun. The amount of time it takes for us to see this light travel is known as a photometric year.