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MANY MILES TO A LIGHT YEAR?
Distances to stars are so great that astronomers use a light-year (the distance light traveling at 186,000 miles per second per second reaches in one year) as a unit of measure.
be interested in calculating this distance in
miles (the speed of light per second)
The figure is usually rounded off to read six trillion miles.
You might be interested in calculating the distance in miles to some close stars: our sun (8 seconds away); Alpha Centauri, our next nearest star (4.3 light-years away); Polaris, the North Star (300 light-years away).
(Note: If a scale of 1 in. = 1,000,000 miles is used to develop a model of the Solar System on the playground, then Alpha Centauri would be over 400 miles away! If people could travel in a space ship at 25,000 miles per hour, it would take about 10,000 years to reach this star.)
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