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Distance to Mars

Date: 07/25/97 at 18:13:15
From: Elsa Gonzalez
Subject: Distance to Mars

What is the distance from Earth to Mars?

Date: 07/28/97 at 13:22:12
From: Doctor Rob
Subject: Re: Distance to Mars

That varies depending on the positions of Mars and the Earth in their
orbits. The closest they come is R - r, and the farthest they get is
R + r, where R is the radius of the orbit of Mars, and r is the radius
of the orbit of the Earth. For a first approximation, r = 93,000,000
miles and R = 141,000,000. Actually this is only approximate, because
the orbits are both elliptical. Mars ranges from 126,000,000 to
156,000,000 miles from the Sun, while Earth's orbit is much closer to
being circular. As a result, the closest they could come would be
33,000,000 miles, and the farthest 249,000,000 miles.

-Doctor Rob,  The Math Forum
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