The Evolving Universe

Smithsonian Institution

How Far Is It To Mars?

illustration of planets in orbit around the sun and showing the largest and shortest distance between mars and earth

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It depends.

Mars and all the other objects in our solar system, including Earth, travel around the Sun in ellipical (oval-shaped) orbits. So their distance from Earth varies.

Mars can be anywhere from 3 to 22 light minutes (30 to 250 million miles) from Earth.