Planet Orbits

An orbit is the path an object takes in space as it revolves around another object. While a planet travels in one direction, it is also affected by the Sun’s gravity causing it to take a curved route that eventually brings it back to its starting point. This complete revolution equates to a single orbit.

Orbit Velocities

The closer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it needs to travel in order to maintain its orbit.

Mercury 47.4 km/s
Venus 35.0 km/s
Earth 29.8 km/s
Mars 24.1 km/s
Jupiter 13.1 km/s
Saturn 9.7 km/s
Uranus 6.8 km/s
Neptune 5.4 km/s

planet-speed

Orbit Distances

The inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are all relatively close together while the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) are much more spread out.

planet-distances

Mercury
57,909,227 km

Venus
108,209,475 km

Earth
149,598,262 km

Mars
227,943,824 km

Jupiter
778,340,821 km

Saturn
1,426,666,422 km

Uranus
2,870,658,186 km

Neptune
4,498,396,441 km

Orbit Lengths

In the time it takes the Earth to complete one orbit, the planets closer to the Sun (Mercury and Venus) orbit at least once. The more distant planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) which move slower and have a greater distance to travel, complete just a fraction of their orbits in this time.

planet-distance

Mercury
(4.2 Orbits)

Venus
(1.6 Orbits)

Earth
(1 Orbit)

Mars
(53.2% of Orbit)

Jupiter
(8.4 % of Orbit)

Saturn
(3.4% of Orbit)

Uranus
(1.2% of Orbit)

Neptune
(0.6 % of Orbit)

How Far

See how far each planet has travelled since you started reading this page!

mercury-speed

Mercury n km

venus-speed

Venus n km

earth-speed

Earth n km

mars-speed

Mars n km

jupiter-speed

Jupiter n km

saturn-speed

Saturn n km

uranus-speed

Uranus nkm

neptune-speed

Neptune n km

The Sun (which orbits the centre of the Milky Way galaxy and travels at a speed of 220 km/s in relation to it) and Pluto (which travels slower than any of the planets at 4.7 km/s in relation to the Sun) have gone:

sun-speed

The Sun n km

pluto-speed

Pluto n km


Thanks to Mark from Shark Facts for help with the planet distance counters.

Sources
Orbit velocities: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/
Orbit distances and lengths: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planetinfo/charchart.cfm

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