The Sun is millions of kilometers away from our home planet “Earth”, but this gap keeps increasing and decreasing as it revolves around the Sun. The difference in the distance of the Earth from the Sun is because the Earth revolves in an elliptical (a flattened circle or oval) orbit. It’s not a perfect circle.
Well, the average distance between the sun and the earth is about 150 million km (93 million miles). That distance is also called 1AU – One Astronomical Unit.
Let us now understand some basic concepts before knowing the actual distance from the Sun. i.e., Elliptical Orbit, Aphelion, Perihelion, Astronomical Unit.
- Elliptical Orbit:- When an object moves around the other object in an oval shaped path, we will say it is revolving in an elliptical orbit.
- Astronomical Unit:- A unit of measurement equal to 150 million kilometers. The distance from the earth to the sun is 1AU.
Now let’s understand the term Aphelion and Perihelion. These two terms define different places of the Earth in the orbit of the Sun.
- Aphelion:- It is the point of the Earth’s orbit when it is farthest from the sun.
- Perihelion:- It is the point of the Earth’s orbit when it is closest to sun.
Fun Fact:- The Earth revolves around the Sun at a speed of about 29.78 km/s (18.51 mi/s). Which is about 0.01% of the speed of light.
Now, Actual Sun Distance from our home Planet
- Talking about average, the earth is 149,597,871 kilometers away from the sun.
- The perihelion (closest to sun), is about 147,105,052 kilometers.
- The aphelion (farthest from sun), is about 152,098,454 kilometers.
- Talking about average, the earth is 92,955,807 miles away from the sun.
- The perihelion (closest to sun), is about 91,406,842 miles.
- The aphelion (farthest from sun), is about 94,509,598 miles.
In Light Years
- Talking about average, the sun is 1.58 × 10-5 light-years far from the sun.
- The perihelion (closest to sun), is about 1.55 × 10-5 light-years.
- The aphelion (farthest from sun), is about 1.61 × 10-5 light-years.
Light-Year is a unit of length to measure the distance that light travels in one year (365.25 days). One light-year is equal to 9,460,730,472,580.8 km (9.46 × 1012). In other words, 9.46 trillion km (5.88 trillion miles) per year.
In Astronomical Units – (AU)
- Talking about average, the distance between them is 1 Astronomical Unit. Because a unit of length equal to the average, between Earth and the Sun, defined as 149,597,871 km, i.e. 1AU.
- The perihelion (closest to sun) is about 0.98 Astronomical Unit.
- The aphelion (farthest to sun) is about 1.01 Astronomical Unit.
When is the Earth closest to the Sun?
The Earth makes its closest approach to the Sun in early January (About two weeks after the December solstice), and Astronomers call it “Perihelion”. As said, 4 January is the day, it comes closest to the sun when it’s winter for the northern hemisphere.
When is the Earth farthest from the Sun?
The Earth makes its farthest approach from the Sun in early July (About two weeks after the June solstice), and Astronomers call it “Aphelion”. As said, 4 July is the day, it stays farthest from the sun when it’s summer for the northern hemisphere.
Best Book about the Solar System
Ever since we came to know about our solar system, its facts always boggle our minds. If you are a physics student or interested in physics, you must have understood the term “Astronomy”.Here I have searched a book about our solar system that you must read at least once.
21st Century Astronomy: The Solar System
- Author:- Stacy Palen, George Blumenthal
- Publisher:- W. W. Norton & Company; Seventh edition (July 1, 2022)
In this book, there are some topics that will really fascinate you while reading, like How astronomers use mathematics to find patterns, The formation of Planetary systems, and so on.
If you want to buy this book, you may click the link below to purchase it.
- USA Users, Click Here
Well, this is the seventh edition book, you can purchase the sixth edition, here.
So, these all are the distances in a light-year, AU, etc. I hope you liked this article “Sun distance from the earth”. Although I have left a question for you above, if you know the answer, please do put it in the comment box.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section.