What is the time taken by sunlight to reach Earth?

The Sun is roughly 150 million kilometers (1 Astronomical unit) from the Earth. The Sunlight travels at a speed of 300,000 kilometers/sec. By using the simple formula, “time= (distance/speed)”, we can calculate the time taken by sunlight to reach Earth.

Time taken by sunlight to reach Earth = (150,000,000/3,00,000) seconds = 500 seconds = 8 minutes 20 seconds

The Sunlight takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds on average to reach Earth.

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

When Earth is at the perihelion, this time is reduced as Earth is closer to the Sun. At perihelion, the distance between Sun and Earth is about 147 million kilometers and the sunlight takes 490 seconds (8 minutes 10 seconds) to reach Earth.

When Earth is at the Aphelion, the Sunlight takes 507 seconds to reach Earth (8 minutes 27 seconds). At aphelion, the distance between Sun and Earth is about 152 million kilometers.

Time taken by Sunlight to reach different planets

PlanetTime taken by Sunlight to reach
Mercury3 minutes 13 seconds
Venus6 minutes
Earth8 minutes 20 seconds
Mars12 minutes 40 seconds
Jupiter43 minutes 15 seconds
Saturn1 hour 19 minutes
Uranus2 hours 40 minutes
Neptune4.1 hours

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