Light Years

8.5 minutes sun to Earth
Distances in space are so vast that the fastest thing in the Universe,
light is used to measure them – the speed of light is
186,282 miles per second!

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Light Years

  • one light second is the distance that light travels in one second – 300 million metres!
  • one light-year is the distance that light travels in one year – 5.92 trillion miles!
  • “light-years” are one of the standard distance measurements in astronomy.
  • it takes eight and half minutes for light from our Sun to reach Earth.
  • light-travel takes 4.22 years to reach Earth from the nearest star -Proxima Centauri, this mean more than 25 trillion miles!
  • viewed from earth, Proxima Centauri looks like it was 4,22 years ago because its light takes 4.22 years to Earth.
  • astronomers use parsecs to measure distances – originally came from parallax shift measurements (see Distances page); a light year is 0.3066 parsecs.

 

Time Travel
This below table shows how long the Light Year takes light to travel from the Sun to all our Solar System planets and dwarf plant*.

  • Mercury  –  3 minutes 2 seconds
  • Venus  –  6 minutes 1 second
  • Earth  –  8 minutes 3 seconds
  • Mars  –  12 minutes 6 seconds
  • Jupiter  –  43 minutes 2 seconds
  • Saturn  –  1 hour 19 minutes 3 seconds
  • Uranus  –  2 hours 39 minutes 6 seconds
  • Neptune  –  4 hours 1 minute
  • Pluto*  –  5 hours 5 minutes

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