How Far is the Moon From the Sun?

by Fraser Cain on November 3, 2008

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Moonrise. Image credit: NASA

Moonrise. Image credit: NASA


The Moon, on average, is about 150 million kilometers away from the Sun. That’s actually an interesting coincidence, since the Earth orbits about 150 million kilometers away from the Sun. What? Well, the Moon orbits the Earth, so it’s following the Earth around in its orbit around the Sun.

Now, we can actually get a little more precise here. The Earth actually takes an elliptical path around the Sun. It ranges in distance from 147 million km to 152 million km. So the Moon can actually range in this distance as well.

But wait, we can get even more precise. The Moon takes an elliptical orbit around the Earth. Sometimes it gets as close as 363,000 km, and other times it gets as far as 406,000 km.

So the closest point that the Moon can get to the Sun is when the Earth is at its closest point in orbit, and the Moon is most distant from the Earth. The closest point that the Moon can actually get to the Sun is 146,692,378 km.

The furthest that the Moon can get from the Sun is the opposite situation. The Earth is at its most distant from the Sun, and the Moon is furthest from the Earth. At that point, the Moon would be 152,503,397 km.

And that’s how far the Moon is from the Sun.

Here’s more information about how far the Moon is from Earth, and how far the Earth is from the Sun.

Want more information about the Moon? Here’s NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Science page. And here’s NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide.

You can listen to a very interesting podcast about the formation of the Moon from Astronomy Cast, Episode 17: Where Did the Moon Come From?

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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