Q:

Approximately how far is the sun from the center of the galaxy?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the sun is roughly 26,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. Other sources, including Berkley University of California, estimate the distance to range between 25,000 light years to 30,000 light years.

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Full Answer

A light year is equal to the length travelled by light in one year which is approximately six trillion miles.

This distance can also be expressed as 8 kiloparsecs, which is the preferred unit that astronomers use. A parsec is equal to 3.26 light years. When used to express large distances, it is common to use kiloparsecs (1,000 parsecs) or megaparsecs (1 million parsecs).

The Milky Way galaxy measures about 30 kiloparsecs, or 100,000 light years, from end to end. The sun is located on the Sagittarius arm of the galaxy.

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