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Astronomical unit
Unit system astronomical
Unit of length
Symbol au
Unit conversions
1 au in ... ... is equal to ...
SI units 149597.9×103 km
Imperial/US unit(s) 9.2956×107 mi
Astronomical unit(s) 4.8481×10-6 pc

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Metric Conversion
Kilometre [km]
Hectometre [hm]
Decametre [dam]
Metre [m]
Decimetre [dm]
Centimetre [cm]
Millimetre [mm]
Micrometre [µm]
Nanometre [nm]
Angstrom [Å]
British/Imperial Conversion
League
Mile [mi]
Furlong
Chain
Rod [rd]
Yard [yd]
Foot [ft]
Link
Hand
Inch [in]
Line
Mil [mil]
Thou [thou]
Nautical Conversion
Sea mile
Fathom
Astronomical Conversion
Parsec [pc]
Light Year
Astronomical Unit [AE]
Light Minute
Light Second

The astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that distance varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum (aphelion) to a minimum (perihelion) and back again once a year.

Originally conceived as the average of Earth's aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149597870700 metres (about 150 million kilometres, or 93 million miles).

The astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is also a fundamental component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length, the parsec.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Astronomical unit", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.