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If you’re planning a trip to the nearest star, and you know it’s 4.3 light-years away, how far is 1 lightyear in miles? As you probably know, a lightyear is the distance that light travels in a single year.
Light is moving at a rate of 670,616,629 miles per hour. It only takes a second for light to reach the Moon, 8 minutes to get to the Sun, and just a few hours to reach the outer planets. Over the course of a year, light travels 5.87849981 x 1012 miles. Written out, that’s 5,878,499,810,000 miles – 1 light year in miles.
We’ve recorded many episodes of Astronomy Cast, including one about Hubble. Check it out, Episode 88: The Hubble Space Telescope.