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# How long does it take to orbit the Sun?

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The time it takes to orbit the Sun depends on the planet. Because of gravity, the mass of the planet and other considerations, objects closer to the Sun tend to have a faster orbit. Earth, the third planet from the Sun, takes 365.26 days to orbit the Sun.

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Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, orbits the Sun in 88 Earth days, and Venus, which is the planet second closest to the Sun, orbits it in 224.7 Earth days. Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, completes an orbit around the Sun in about 1.8 Earth years, and Jupiter orbits the Sun in 12 Earth years. Though it is the fifth planet from the Sun, it is so far away from the star that it's considered the first of the outer planets. The asteroid belt intervenes between Mars and Jupiter.

Saturn orbits in 29.45 Earth years, and it takes Uranus 84 Earth years to complete an orbit. Neptune is so far away from the Sun, and its orbit is so irregular, that there are times when it is farther from the Sun than the dwarf planet Pluto. It completes an orbit around the sun every 248 years. This means that since it was discovered in 1846, it has completed one orbit.

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## Related Questions

• A:

Earth's solar system has only one sun, but if the word "sun" is taken to mean "any star with planets in orbit," the Milky Way might have as many as 400 billion suns. If the observed ratio of approximately one planet per star is consistent everywhere, the observable universe might contain 10^24, or 1 septillion, suns.

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• A:

According to Dictionary.com, a year is defined as the length of time it takes a planet to make a complete revolution around the sun. Since the sun does not revolve around itself, a year on the sun would have to be defined in different terms.

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• A:

Copernicus’ heliocentric model shows how an observer on Earth orbiting the sun would see a planet with a longer orbital period appear to move backward and then forward again. Ptolemy’s model, with the Earth at the center, required complex additional mechanics to explain retrograde motion that never matched the observed motion.