A team of scientists just demonstrated something that might shock you: Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth on average.
The researchers presented their results this week in an article in the magazine Physics Today.
They explain that our methods of calculating which planet is “the closest” oversimplifies the matter.
“Further, Mercury is the closest neighbour, on average, to each of the other seven planets in the solar system,” they write.
Our misconceptions about how close the planets are to one another comes from the way we usually estimate the distances to other planets.
Normally, we calculate the average distance from the planet to the Sun.