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If The Earth Was Ten Feet Closer To The Sun


Claim- "If the earth was 10 ft closer to the sun we would all burn up and if it was 10 feet further we would freeze to death."

Verdict- False. Our earth is commonly claimed to be about 150 million km away (93 million miles) from the sun, but that number is only its average distance. Earth circles the sun in an elliptical orbit, meaning its distance from the sun varies, and by much more than ten feet. In the winter (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere),  Earth is actually at its closest point to the sun at around 147 million km (91 million miles), and in July its at its furthest point at around 152 million km (94 million miles).

Yes, you read that right, we are actually closer to the sun in January, and farther away in June. That's a variance of 5 million km (3 million miles), or 16 billion feet, give or take a few million. To go that distance here on Earth you would have to circle the globe about 394 times. An average pair of running shoes last about  800km (500 miles) so you are going to need over 6,200 pair for the trip.




Sources and More Reading
Seasons Graphic
Earth's Orbit
Our Solar System to Scale
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