How far away is the Sun?

The Earth and Sun

The Earth and Sun.

The Sun is very far from Earth. In fact, it is 93 million miles away. (That's about 150 million km.) If the Sun were the size of a basketball, and Earth the size of the head of a pin, the basketball and the pin would be separated by about 100 feet -- about the the length of a basketball court. If you were standing at the basketball (and didn't have a telescope to help you), you wouldn't even be able to see the pinhead Earth.

Another way to understand the distance is to think of driving to the Sun in a car. If you actually could do this, and drove really fast, say 60 miles an hour (80 km/hr), it would take you 176 years to get there! Light from the Sun takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth. If you understand how fast light travels, you can recognize that the Sun must be very far away.

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