Astronomical unit

Astronomical unit

Mean distance between Earth and the Sun

The astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun and approximately equal to 150 million kilometres or 8.3 light-minutes. The actual distance from Earth to the Sun varies by about 3% as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum (aphelion) to a minimum (perihelion) and back again once each year. The astronomical unit was originally conceived as the average of Earth's aphelion and perihelion; however, since 2012 it has been defined as exactly 149597870700 m.

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