Q:

How far are the planets from the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

The eight described planets all orbit the Sun at different distances; Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, followed by Venus, then Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The distances of the planets are normally measured in kilometers, because scientists use metric measurements. However, scientists also use a unit called an “astronomical unit,” which is equal to the distance between Earth and the sun.

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Full Answer

Mercury is a hot, barren world that orbits the Sun at a distance of roughly 57 million kilometers. However, due to its heavy cloud cover and runaway greenhouse effect, Venus is hotter, even though it orbits the Sun at a distance of 108 million kilometers. The Earth is about 150 million kilometers from the Sun, which means that 1 AU is equal to about 150 million kilometers. Mars, the second closest planet to Earth, is about 228 million kilometers from the Sun.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are often called the outer planets, and they are very far from the sun. Only their large size makes them visible from the Earth from such long distances. Jupiter is about 778 million kilometers from the Sun, while Saturn is almost 1.5 billion kilometers from the Sun. Uranus and Neptune are even farther, orbiting the sun from a distance of 2.8 billion and 4.5 billion kilometers, respectively.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which planet is closest to the sun?

    A:

    The closest planet to the sun is Mercury. After Mercury the order of the planets is Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Before Pluto was demoted from its planetary status it was after Neptune.

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  • Q:

    What is the closest planet to the sun?

    A:

    Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. The next closest planet is Venus, followed by Earth.

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  • Q:

    What is the closest planet to Earth right now?

    A:

    Depending on their orbital progress, Venus or Mars may be the closest planet to Earth at any given time. The distance between Venus and Earth varies between 24 and 162 million miles, and the distance between Earth and Mars varies between 34 and 250 million miles.

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  • Q:

    What is the order of the planets?

    A:

    Beginning with the planet closest to the Sun and moving outward, the order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Before its reclassification as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, Pluto was considered the ninth and most distant planet.

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