A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo
{subject}

Why Mercury?
The Mission
Gallery
Education
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
FAQs
Related Links
Contacts
Home


Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Apply for MESSENGER scholarship Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews


Average Distance from the Sun

Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, at an average distance from the Sun of about 58 million kilometers. By comparison, Earth is about 150 million kilometers from the Sun, while Pluto, the furthest planet, averages an enormous 5.9 billion kilometers away! If you were standing on Mercury, the Sun would appear much larger than it does on Earth. And since the Sun-Mercury distance varies so much during Mercury's orbit, the Sun would appear larger at some times than at others.

Compare the size of the Sun on Mercury. Check out our "Places in the Sun" simulation.

Odd but true: If you drew a scale model of the Solar System with the Sun at the center and Mercury one centimeter from the Sun, the Earth would be about 2.6 cm from the Sun while Pluto would be over one meter (100 cm) away!

{rBanner}

   Top  | Contacts
1999-{year} by JHU/APL