Earth and sun proportions: If the sun was the size of a basketball

Sun photo at UV wavelengths in the public domain, courtesy of NASA.

Sun photo at UV wavelengths in the public domain, courtesy of NASA.

NBA basketballs vary slightly in size from one to the other, but a typical circumference is 29.75 inches (75.6 cm).  If the sun of our solar system was this size, how large and how far away would the Earth proportionately be?

The real sun is 2,715,000 miles (4,379,000 km) in circumference.  Shrunk down to basketball size, planet Earth would be reduced to eight-hundredths of an inch (two millimeters) in diameter, by comparison.

Earth has a slight variation in its orbit, and is closest to the sun in early January, and furthest in early July every year.  With the sun at basketball size, the distance of the Earth from the sun would range between 83.5 feet (25.4 meters) and 86.3 feet (26.3 meters).

This means that if a basketball were placed directly underneath a goal on an NBA court, the Earth would proportionately be located underneath the other goal (they are about 84 feet, or 25.5 meters, apart).

Related:  See my physical geography quiz on the Squidoo website.  Includes 20 questions with explanations after each one.

NBA court photo from Wikimedia Commons copyright 2006 by ReneS.

NBA court photo from Wikimedia Commons copyright 2006 by ReneS.

One thought on “Earth and sun proportions: If the sun was the size of a basketball

  1. Pingback: If the sun were an inch across, how far away would the planets be? | Tano Calvenoa's Natural Sciences Blog

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