What is The Closest Planet to Earth?

What is the Closest Planet to the Earth?

In addition to being the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury is also the closest planet to Earth. However, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it sounds. Many people argue that Venus is the closest planet to Earth, and while this is not correct, it is not technically incorrect either. It all has to do with how you measure the distance.

If you look at a solar system diagram, you will see that Venus and Mars appear to be the closest distance to the earth. So, if you find the average distance between Earth & Mars and Earth & Venus, subtract the smallest radius from the biggest one for each pair. The smallest space should tell us the closest planet to the Earth, Venus. There is nothing overtly wrong with this method of measuring distance; however, if you look at it closely, you will see that you are just counting the smallest possible distance between the two planets. It is because the formula only calculates how close the planets will get to Earth throughout their orbit; the rest of the time in their orbit, they may be much further from Earth. Therefore, to find the planet closest to the Earth, we need to consider the planets’ average distance throughout their orbit.

Venus gets the closest to the Earth, but it is not always this close. In fact, at its farthest distance from Earth, Venus is a massive 160 million miles away. So, when Venus is off 160 million miles away, what planet is the closest to Earth? Again, the answer to that is not straightforward, as it tends to change. Sometimes, Mars is the closest planet to Earth. The closest Mars comes to Earth in its orbit is 33.9 million miles away.

To get an answer that is not subject to change, we must look at what planet is closest to the Earth on average. When we calculate this, we find that Mercury spends the most time relative to the Earth; this is large because, out of all of the planets in our solar system, Mercury has the smallest orbit. So, while it never gets as close to Earth as Mars or Venus, it never gets as far away as those planets do.

Interestingly, Mercury’s small orbit also means it is the closest planet to all other planets in the solar system. So, Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The same logic applies here when calculating Mercury’s distance from the Earth. While Mercury is never actually very close to any of these planets because of its small orbit, it is also never very far away. It’s important to note that while Mercury’s orbit might be classified as small in terms of spatial distance, it is still comparatively huge to any space on Earth. For instance, Mercury tends to orbit around the sun at a mean distance of ​​58 million km. If this is small, imagine how big the other planets’ orbits must be!

How Long is Each Planet’s Orbit?

Each of the planets in our solar system has its unique orbit that they travel within, all of which last varying amounts of time. The length of the planet’s orbits are as follows:

  • Mercury: Out of all the planets in our solar system, Mercury has the shortest orbit, coming in at just 88 days.
  • Venus: The orbit of Venus lasts 224 days.
  • Earth: This is the one we all know because it is how we measure our years. The Earth’s orbit lasts 365 days.
  • Mars: One of Mars’ orbits lasts 1.88 years.
  • Jupiter: Jupiter’s orbit is a big jump from the previous one, as it lasts an impressive 11.86 years.
  • Saturn: There is another leap here, as Saturn’s orbit lasts 29.46 years.
  • Uranus: This is where the orbits get big, as Uranus’ orbit lasts 84 years.
  • Neptune: Now we’re in the hundreds, as Neptune’s orbit lasts 164.79 years.
  • Pluto: Pluto is technically a dwarf planet, but for the sake of comparison, we’ve included it in this list anyway. Pluto is very far from the sun, so its orbit is vast, lasting 248.59 years!
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