Light Years


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 / 1,864 million miles.
  • 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 nearly eight and half minutes for light from our Sun to reach Earth.

Time Travel

  • 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.

 

 

 

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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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