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A team of US astronomers calculated the average distances between the Earth and other planets in the Solar System and concluded that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest to our planet. The study was published by the journal Physics Today.
Furthermore, according to the researchers, Mercury is, on average, the "neighbor" closest to all the other planets in the solar system.
The misunderstanding of how far planets are from each other derives from the fact that normally the distance to the other planets is calculated, i. calculate the average distance from the planet to the sun.
The average distance of our earth from the sun should therefore be an astronomical unit (AE), while it is about 0.72 AU of Venus.
If you subtract one value from the other, the average distance between Earth and Venus will be 0.28 AU. quantity, which is lower, than all other pairs of planets.
However, three researchers found that this is not the exact way to calculate the distances between planets.
The problem is that the Earth spends the same amount of time on the opposite side of its orbit from Venus, and therefore the distance is 1.72 AU.
For a more accurate calculation, it is necessary to determine the distance between each point in the orbit of planet A and each point in the orbit of the planet B.
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The researchers carried out a simulation, assuming that the orbits of the planets are approximately circular and that their orbits are not at an angle to one another.
This method allowed them to conclude that most of the time Mercury is closer to the Earth and to every other planet in the solar system.