Phi and the Solar System

The dimensions of the Earth and Moon are in Phi relationship, forming a Triangle based on 1.618.

Earth and Moon forming golden triangle geometry with phi, 1.618, or golden ratio relationships

The illustration shows the relative sizes of the Earth and the Moon to scale.

  • Draw a radius of the Earth (1).
  • Draw a line from the center point of the Earth to the center point of the Moon (square root of Phi).
  • Draw a line to connect the two lines to form a Golden Triangle (Phi).

Using dimensions from Wikipedia and geometry’s classic Pythagorean Theorem, this is expressed mathematically as follows:

Radius of Earth6,378.101.000A
Radius of Moon1,735.970.272
Earth + Moon8,114.071.272B
Hypotenuse10,320.771.618 (Φ)C
Hypotenuse /
(Earth Radius +
Moon Radius)
1.618 (Φ)A²+B²=C²

This geometric construction is the same as that which appears to have been used in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Source:  Hidden Nature by Alick Bartholomew.  Thanks to Sathimantha Malalasekera for bringing this to my attention.

Certain solar system orbital periods are closely related to phi

The solar system embodies a variety of phi or golden ratio relationships in its dimensions and orbital periods Certain planets of our solar system seem to exhibit a relationship to phi, as shown by the following table of the time it takes to orbit around the Sun:


  Mercury  Venus  Earth Jupiter  Saturn
Power of Phi-3-1057
Decimal Result0.240.621.011.129.0
Actual Period0.240.621.011.929.5

Saturn reveals a golden ratio phi relationship in several of its dimensions

The diameter of Saturn is very close to a phi relationship with the diameter of its rings, as illustrated by the green lines. The inner ring division is in a relationship that is very close to phi with the diameter of the rings outside the sphere of the planet, as illustrated by the blue lines.The Cassini division in the rings of Saturn falls at the Golden Section of the width of the lighter outside section of the rings.

Note: Phi grid showing Golden Ratio lines provided by PhiMatrix software.

A closer look at Saturn’s rings reveals a darker inner ring which exhibits the same golden section proportion as the brighter outer ring.

Venus and Earth reveal a golden ratio phi relationship

Venus and the Earth are linked in an unusual relationship involving phi.  Start by letting Mercury represent the basic unit of orbital distance and period in the solar system:

the sun
in km (000)
equals 1
equals 1

Curiously enough we find:

Ö Period of Venus * Phi = Distance of the Earth

Ö 2.5490 * 1.6180339 = 1.5966 * 1.6180339 = 2.5833

In addition, Venus orbits the Sun in 224.695 days while Earth orbits the Sun in 365.242 days, creating a ratio of 8/13 (both Fibonacci numbers) or 0.615 (roughly phi.)  Thus 5 conjunctions of Earth and Venus occur every 8 orbits of the Earth around the Sun and every 13 orbits of Venus.

Mercury, on the other hand, orbits the Sun in 87.968 Earth days, creating a conjunction with the Earth every 115.88 days.  Thus there are 365.24/115.88 conjunctions in a year, or 22 conjunctions in 7 years, which is very close to Pi!

See more relationships at the Solar Geometry site.

Relative planetary distances average to Phi

The average of the mean orbital distances of each successive planet in relation to the one before it approximates phi:

in million
per NASA
Degree of variance(0.00043)

Note:  We sometimes forget about the asteroids when thinking of the planets in our solar system.  Ceres, the largest asteroid, is nearly spherical, comprises over one-third the total mass of all the asteroids and is thus the best of these minor planets to represent the asteroid belt.  (Insight on mean orbital distances contributed by Robert Bartlett.)

2005 unveiled the discovery of a 10th planet called 2003UB313.  It was found at a distance of 97 times that of the Earth from the Sun.  Its ratio to Pluto would thus be 2.47224, much higher than any previous planet to planet orbital distance ratio.  Could it be that this is actually the 11th planet and the 10th planet will be found at an orbit whose ratio is 1.52793 times that of Pluto, preserving the phi average?  Time will only tell, but if it happens remember that you heard it here first.

The shape of the Universe itself is a dodecahedron based on Phi

New findings in 2003 based on the study of data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) on cosmic background radiation reveal that the universe is finite and shaped like a dodecahedron, a geometric shape based on pentagons, which are based on phi.   See the Universe page for more.


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