# What is the distance between pluto and earth?

Feb 2, 2016

This is a more complicated question than it sounds, because both Earth and Pluto are constantly moving.

#### Explanation:

Earth's mean distance from the sun is 149,600,000 km, also called 1 Astronomical Unit (AU).

Pluto's mean distance is 5,906,380,000 km, or 39.5 AU. But Pluto's orbit is highly elliptical, getting as close as 30 AU and as far as 48.5 AU.

So at it's closest, with Pluto and Earth on the same side of the sun when Pluto is at perihelion (closest to the sun), then the distance to Pluto from Earth would be about 29 AU. At aphelion (farthest from the sun), if Earth is on the opposite side of the sun, the distance would be about 49.5 AU.

On today's date, by checking with the free astronomy software Stellarium , Pluto is 33.9 AU from Earth, on the far side of the sun from us.