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Average and Closest Distances

Pluto is an average of 5,913,520,000 km (39.5AU) from the Sun. Earth is an average of 149,600,000 km (1.0AU) from the sun. This would indicate a distance of over 5.7 billion kilometers or 38.5 AU between the two.

However, Pluto's orbit is highly elliptical and varies from 4.4 to 7.4 billion kilometers (30 to 49 AU) from the Sun. And given its 17° inclination to the ecliptic, it would seldom if ever be in a direct line with the Earth and the Sun.

Should Pluto ever be near its closest point to Earth's orbit when the Earth is also near that point, the closest approach between the two would be 4.3 billion kilometers (29 AU).

AU's Between Pluto and Earth

That's a difficult question to answer precisely. Pluto's average distance from the Sun is 39.4 AU. (An AU is an Astronomical Unit and is defined as the average distance between the center of the Earth and the center of the Sun.) One AU equals 92,955,807 million miles, or about 93 million miles, but Pluto's distance from the Sun ranges from 29.7 to 49.3 AU.

So, depending on the orbits of Pluto and Earth, the distance between the two could be anywhere from 28.7 AU (Earth directly between Pluto and Sun when Pluto is closest to the Sun) to 50.3 AU (Earth directly opposite Sun from Pluto when Pluto is farthest from the Sun). However, keep in mind that an AU is an average and that Earth's actual orbit varies anywhere from 91 to 94.5 million miles.

As Earth has a slightly eccentric orbit but Pluto has a very elliptical orbit, it varies. So the closest distance between the Earth and Pluto occurs when Earth is at its most distant from the Sun, and Pluto is at its closest. And the Sun, Earth and Pluto are lined up in a perfect line. When this happens, Pluto and Earth would be separated by 4.2 billion km.

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โˆ™ 2017-09-09 06:40:22
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Q: How far is Pluto from Earth?
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