How far are the eight planets from the Sun?

I’ve been watching the BBC series “The Planets” presented by Professor Brian Cox. It’s a fascinating series and seems to underline that everything is more complicated that you thought with tremendous changes over time.

For instance, the orbits of the planets round the Sun have changed dramatically over billions of years, especially that of Jupiter. But, if we look at the spread of the planets now, too often books represent pictorially the distances between the planets as similar.

That is more or less the case for the four inner-most planets with mean distances from the Sun in million of kilometres being: Mercury 58, Venus 108, Earth 150, and Mars 228.

However, when you look at the four outer-most planets, the distances are so much greater: Jupiter 778, Saturn 1,427, Uranus, 2,870, and Neptune 4,497.

That means that the furthest planet from the Sun is not seven times father away than the nearest, but 78 times .


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