Distances in Space
It is very important to scientist to be able to comprehend the distances between planets and other space objects, but the distances that we use on earth are very hard to use in space. For example, the earth is located 93,000,000 miles away from Earth! Can you imagine trying to measure the distance between the Sun and Neptune! Scientist developed a measurement called an Astronomical Unit (AU) to help the with this problem. An AU is 93 million miles, the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Astronomical Units are used to measure the distances between our planets and other things in our Solar System.
Light is the fastest thing that we know of, making it vitally important. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Scientist thought that the amount of time that light travels in a year (Light Year) would be a good measurement that could be used for measuring distances between stars. For example, the Sun is 8 1/3 light minutes away from us, because it takes 8 1/3 minutes for the Sun's light to reach us. The development of light years has become an important part of the study of space.
Our Solar System consists of the sun and eight other planets. Most of the planets are widespread, except for the first four planets. Mercury, the closets planet to the sun, is located only .4 AU's (Astronomical Units) away from the sun. Mars is located at 1.6 AU's away from the sun. Venus and Earth are stuck between these two planets. After the first four planets the second planet is Jupiter, located 5.8 AU's away. Neptune is the farthest planet located 30.1 AU's away.
Article posted September 24, 2009 at 08:51 AM •
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