The astronomical unit (symbol: au, or AU or AU) is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun and equal to about 150 million kilometres (93 million miles) or ~8 light minutes. The actual distance varies by about 3% as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum (aphelion) to a minimum (perihelion) and back again once each year. The astronomical unit was originally conceived as the average of Earth's aphelion and perihelion; however, since 2012 it has been defined as exactly 149597870700 m (see below for several conversions).
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