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How many light-years away is the sun from the earth?

Last updated date: 18th May 2024
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Hint: The galaxy in which our planet is contained is called the Milky Way and it stretches over 105,700 light-years. Within it, our solar system extends to 1.5 light-years and is centred around the sun, a star made up of hot plasma radiating energy and light. The eight planets of our solar system in the order of increasing distance from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Apart from these, other objects in our solar system are dwarf planets (Pluto and Eris) and moons, minor planets, comets, etc.

Complete answer: The earth is the third planet from the sun and is located at a distance of 149.59 million km from the sun. In terms of light-years, it can be quantified to 1.58 × 10-5 light-years and it takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds for sunlight to reach earth. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, is located at a distance of 68.31 million km and it takes sunlight 3.2 minutes to travel from the sun to Mercury. Neptune, which is the farthest planet from the sun, is located at a distance of 4.476 billion km and it takes approximately 4.15 hours for sunlight to reach Neptune. The distance between the earth and the sun is also quantified as an astronomical unit or AU. In these terms, the Proxima Centauri, which is the nearest known planetary system, is 4.25 light-years or 268,770 AU away from the earth.

Note: A light-year is an astronomical unit of length which is used to express the distance between two given points in space based on the distance travelled by light in vacuum in one Julian year. One light-year is equal to 9.46×1012 km.