OUR EARTH & SOLAR SYSTEM BY THE NUMBERS

Our solar system is enormous when viewed from the small planet we inhabit. However, it pales into insignificance when compared to the size of the Milky Way Galaxy where our solar system resides.

Our galaxy in turn is microscopic when compared to the universe that has an estimated diameter of 93 billion light years. Point of view is everything.


The following are a number of distances and speeds to ponder on when viewed in comparison to what humans have achieved to date in the fledgling space industry. Milestones include landing men on the moon, numerous probes landed on Mars and various tiny spacecraft sent out to explore distant aspects of our solar system, some of them still in operation having now ventured out into the cosmos. The most famous example is Voyager 1, now at a distance of 21.8 billion kilometers or 13.6 billion miles from Earth as of July 11, 2019. It is the most distant man-made object from Earth. Signals from Voyager 1 take about 19 hours to reach Earth.

OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

The diameter of earth is 12,474 kilometers kms or 7,915 miles

The diameter of the earth's moon is 3,742 kms or 2,158 miles

The distance from the earth to the moon is 384,400 kms or 238,900 miles

The diameter of the sun is 1,319,000 ks or 684,340 miles

The diameter of our solar system is 287 billion kms or 93 billion miles

What is a light year? The speed light travel in a year

What is the speed of light? 1.07 billion kms per hour or 300,000 kms per second

The diameter of the solar system in light years is 79

The speed of the rotation of the earth at the equator is 460 meters per second

The speed the earth moves through space is 67,000 miles per hour or 110,000 kms per hour

The second nearest star to earth is a star in the Alpha Centauri system, 4.3 billion light years away

The speed required to escape earth's gravity is 25,000 miles or 41,000 kms per hour

The distance of Earth from the sun. Average: 150 million km / 93 million miles


The diameter of the other planets in the solar system and the average distance from the sun:

Mercury: 4,879 km or 3031 miles. Average distance: 57 million km / 35 million miles

Venus: 12,104 km or 7,521 miles. Average distance: 108 million km / 67 million miles

Mars: 6,779 km or 4,212 miles. Average distance: 228 million km / 142 million miles

Jupiter: 142,984 km or 88,846 miles. Average distance: 779 million km / 484 million miles

Saturn: 120,536 km or 74,897 miles. Average distance: 1.43 billion km / 889 million miles

Uranus: 50,724 km or 31,518 miles. Average distance: 2.88 billion km / 1.79 billion miles

Neptune: 49,244 km or 30,598 miles. Average distance: 4.50 billion km / 2.8 billion miles


Over the course of a year as the Earth orbits the Sun, the apparent position of nearby stars changes relative to much more distant ones. The distant stars are so far away they appear not to move from our viewpoint on earth.


The distances within the universe we reside in are truly astronomical.

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© 2011 BY Shanique Byrd