The Proximity of the Planets

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The proximity of the planets might surprise some people due to how close everything really is. Find out about the proximity of the planets with help from an astrophysics professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is "the proximity of the planets." So, let's talk about how far the planets are, and I'm going to teach you how to do the right type of measurement. We wanna talk about astronomical units, because planets are so far away, but everything in space, in the solar system, is far away, so talking about meters or miles, kind of becomes a hassle. The numbers become very big really fast, so we have a new type of scaling and it's called the astronomical unit. An astronomical unit is the distance from Earth to the sun. So, this is about one point five times 10 to the 11 meters. So, any time I say it's two astronomical units, it means it's two times that amount, or is half of an astronomical unit, it means it's half of that amount. So, let's talk about how close the other planets are to us, in terms of astronomical units. So, for Mercury, we are zero point six one astronomical units away. For Venus, it's zero point two eight. It makes sense that the distance is getting less because we're, we're closer to Venus than we are to Mercury, as we are the third planet. Mars is only zero point five astronomical units away. Jupiter is four point two. And, at this point, the the scaling between the, the distance between the planets becomes very large, so they start to increase very rapidly. So, Saturn is eight point five astronomical units away. Uranus is 18 point two astronomical units away, and finally, Neptune, is already 29 astronomical units away, meaning that Neptune is 20 times further than we are from, from the sun. My name's Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is the proximity of the planets to Earth.

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