I know it roughly takes 20 minutes from Earth to Mars, and 8 minutes from the Sun to Earth, but don't know how long for the other planets on my list.

  • $\begingroup$ The time varies over a range of about 16 minutes depending on the relative positions of Earth and the target planet in their orbits; Earth can be 8 light-minutes closer than the Sun is, or 8 light-minutes farther away. I don't have the numbers handy, but a close approximation can easily be determined by looking up the distance of each planet from the Sun and dividing by the speed of light. $\endgroup$ – Keith Thompson Dec 12 '11 at 8:21

From Wikipedia, the mean Sun-planet distances are (in AU):

Mercury  0.39
Venus    0.72
Earth    1.00
Mars     1.52
Jupiter  5.20
Saturn   9.54
Uranus  19.22
Neptune 30.06

To get the maximum and minimum distances from Earth, add or subtract 1 AU. To get those distances in light-minutes, multiply by 8.317 light-minutes per AU. To save you the trouble:

        AU             Light minutes
Planet  Max    Min     Max    Min
Mercury  1.39   0.61    11.56   5.07
Venus    1.72   0.28    14.30   2.33
Mars     2.52   0.52    20.96   4.32
Jupiter  6.20   4.20    51.56  34.93
Saturn  10.54   8.54    87.66  71.02
Uranus  20.22  18.22   168.16 151.53
Neptune 31.06  29.06   258.32 241.68

These are maximuma and minima presuming circular orbits for all the planets. Calculating the distance the planets right now is more difficult but you can get the data from Solar System Live.


protected by Qmechanic Mar 17 '13 at 18:46

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