How far is Mars?
Well now that depends on what you’re measuring from! Let’s try some possibilities:
How far is Mars from the Sun?
On average: 227.92 million kilometers. But, like everything else in the universe, Mars does not have a perfectly circular orbit. Instead, it moves in an ellipse, sometimes getting as far out as 249.23 million kilometers, and sometimes as close as 206.62 million kilometers.
How far is Mars from the Earth?
Anything from 54.52 million kilometers up to 401.33 million kilometers. Why such a huge variation? Well, both Earth and Mars are constantly moving in their orbits, at different speeds. In any one orbital period, they’re closest together when Mars overtakes the Earth (Both astronomers and astrologers describe this by saying “Mars is at opposition”), and furthest when on opposite sides of the Sun. But there’s also the fact that neither planet has a perfectly round orbit. So the maximum figure up there (400+ million km) comes about on those rare occasions when both planets are at their furthest points from the Sun, AND they’re on opposite sides of the Sun, AND this all happens at the same time. The minimum figure (about 54.5 million km) comes when Mars is at it’s closest point to the Sun, Earth is at its furthest point, and Mars is at opposition. Again, all at the same time.
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