How far away is Venus now?

Last Updated: Today

As of May 19 2024, Venus is 160,557,685 miles (258,337,316 kilometers) away from Earth, which is about 1.72687829979985 AU.
Venus Background

Where does this distance data come from?

I source Venus’s distance from Earth via the Horizon JPL API. It is a free service provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that offers access to ephemeris (positional) data and related information for celestial bodies, such as planets, asteroids, and comets. The system can be accessed through various interfaces, including a web interface, a telnet interface, and an email interface.

This API contains the precise distance between Venus and Earth from each day of the next few hundred years. 

So I simply created a system to check for today’s date, then go retrieve the accurate distance value directly from NASA’s database. The up-to-date value is then displayed on this page. 

How do scientists calculate the real-time distance between Venus and earth?

Scientists calculate the live distance between Venus and Earth using a combination of mathematics, astronomical data, and the principles of celestial mechanics. The positions of Earth and Venus in their respective orbits are constantly changing due to their elliptical orbits and different orbital periods around the Sun.

Venus' orbital parameters

Orbital parameters describe the way objects move around in space, such as planets, moons, and satellites. These parameters include the size, shape, and tilt of the orbit, as well as the object’s position and speed within the orbit. 

They help scientists understand and predict the paths of celestial bodies, which is crucial for planning space missions, observing astronomical phenomena, and monitoring satellites. 

Orbital PropertyExplanationVenusEarthRatio (Venus/Earth)
Semimajor axis (106 km)Avg. distance from the Sun108.210149.5980.723
Sidereal orbit period (days)Time for one orbit relative to fixed stars224.701365.2560.615
Tropical orbit period (days)Time for one orbit relative to the vernal equinox224.695365.2420.615
Perihelion (106 km)Closest distance to the Sun107.480147.0950.731
Aphelion (106 km)Farthest distance from the Sun108.941152.1000.716
Synodic period (days)Time to return to the same position relative to the Sun583.92
Mean orbital velocity (km/s)Avg. speed while orbiting the Sun35.0229.781.176
Max. orbital velocity (km/s)Highest speed in the orbit35.2630.291.164
Min. orbital velocity (km/s)Lowest speed in the orbit34.7829.291.187
Orbit inclination (deg)Angle between the orbital plane and the ecliptic plane3.3950.000
Orbit eccentricityDeviation of orbit shape from a perfect circle0.00680.01670.407
Sidereal rotation period (hrs)Time for one rotation relative to fixed stars-5832.623.9345243.690
Length of day (hrs)Time for one rotation relative to the Sun2802.024.0000116.750
Obliquity to orbit (deg)Angle between the equatorial plane and orbital plane177.3623.44
Inclination of equator (deg)Axial tilt of the planet2.6423.440.113

Venus' greatest elongations (list for the next 5 years)

Greatest elongation is the term used in astronomy to describe the maximum angular separation of a planet from the Sun as viewed from Earth. In simpler terms, it refers to the point at which a planet appears farthest from the Sun as seen from our perspective on Earth.

Venus is sometimes referred to as the “Morning Star” or the “Evening Star” due to its appearance in the sky during different times of the day. This phenomenon occurs because of the relative positions of Venus, Earth, and the Sun as they orbit around the Sun.

As an inferior planet (meaning it orbits closer to the Sun than Earth), Venus goes through phases similar to the Moon, as well as various positions relative to Earth and the Sun. These positions include inferior and superior conjunctions, and greatest elongations.

  1. Inferior Conjunction: Venus is between the Earth and the Sun, and not visible from Earth.
  2. Superior Conjunction: Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth, and not visible from Earth.
  3. Greatest Western Elongation: Venus is visible in the eastern sky just before sunrise, making it the “Morning Star.”
  4. Greatest Eastern Elongation: Venus is visible in the western sky just after sunset, making it the “Evening Star.”
Greatest Elongation West (Evening Time Angle
June 4, 2023 11:00 45.4°
January 10, 2025 04:59 47.2°
August 15, 2026 06:59 45.9°
March 22, 2028 11:50 46.1°
October 27, 2029 10:05 47°
Greatest Elongation East (Morning) Time Angle
October 23, 2023 22:57 46.4°
June 1, 2025 03:34 45.9°
June 12, 2026 02:45 46°
January 3, 2027 17:57 47°
August 10, 2028 16:00 45.8°

Venus' Inferior Conjunctions (for the next 5 years)

An inferior conjunction is an astronomical event that occurs when a Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun, and is therefore at its closest point to Earth. During an inferior conjunction, the planet appears as a dark silhouette against the bright disk of the Sun, and is usually difficult or impossible to observe.

Inferior ConjunctionTime (GMT)
August 13, 202311:15 GMT
March 23, 20251:07 GMT
October 24, 20263:44 GMT
June 1, 202810:00 GMT
January 6, 203013:18 GMT
August 11, 20313:01 GMT

Venus' Superior Conjunctions (for the next 5 years)

A superior conjunction is an astronomical event that occurs when Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun as seen from Earth, and is therefore at its greatest distance from Earth. During superior conjunction, the planet is not observable.

Superior ConjunctionTime (GMT)
June 4, 202415:34 GMT
January 6, 202616:35 GMT
August 12, 20270:21 GMT
March 23, 202920:12 GMT
October 20, 203011:13 GMT

Just for fun, how long would it take to reach Venus via different transportation means

The average distance between Earth and Venus is 67 million miles (108 million km), so based on that distance, I have calculated the time it would take to reach the Earth’s sister planet at the speed of different means of transportation.

  • On foot (3 mph): 2,549 years
  • Bicycle (15 mph): 510 years
  • Horse (galloping at 25 mph): 306 years
  • Motorbike (average speed of 70 mph): 109 years
  • Boat (cruising speed of 20 knots): 332 years Car (60 mph): 127 years
  • High-speed train (322 km/h): 38 years
  • Commercial Airplane (575 mph): 13 years
  • Concorde supersonic jet (1,350 mph): 5.7 years
  • SpaceX Starship (projected average speed of 16,777 mph): 0.46 years

Bonus Fact: On average it takes about 6 minutes for light from Venus to reach Earth.

Tom Urbain

 I’ve been fascinated by space and astronomy from a very young age. When I’m not watching space-themed documentaries, movies or TV series, I spend most of my free time in my backyard admiring the planets and galaxies with my telescope.

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