pretendy

Science, maths and computers.

Some perspective
Light travels at a speed of 299,792,458 metres per second exactly. No matter how fast you, or the light source is traveling, go try measuring it and you’ll find that this is exactly the case.
At this speed, it takes light:
18 milliseconds to travel between London and New York
0.13 seconds to circumnavigate the equator of the Earth
1.4 seconds to travel to us from the Moon
8.4 minutes to travel from the Sun
4.15 hours to travel from the Sun to Neptune, the most remote planet in the Solar System
17 hours to travel to the current location of Voyager 1, the farthest man made object from Earth
~0.8 years to travel from us to the Oort Cloud, a hypothesised spherical cloud of icy comets centered around the Sun, which marks the boundary of the solar system
4.2 years to travel to us from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to Sun.
1,100 years to travel to us from the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way
100,000 years to travel across the whole disc of the galaxy itself
2.5 million years to travel to us from the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest neighbour
110 million years to travel across the Virgo Supercluster, our small, local little corner of the universe
After this it stops making sense to say “a distance x”, as the expansion of the universe warps our perception of distance on these immense timescales. Therefore, when you hear radio static, 1% of that is said not to originate from a place, but rather a time, roughly 13.5 billion years ago - the cosmic microwave background from the time of recombination at the dawn of the universe.
TL;DR: The universe is big.
(Photo: pretendy)

Some perspective

Light travels at a speed of 299,792,458 metres per second exactly. No matter how fast you, or the light source is traveling, go try measuring it and you’ll find that this is exactly the case.

At this speed, it takes light:

  • 18 milliseconds to travel between London and New York
  • 0.13 seconds to circumnavigate the equator of the Earth
  • 1.4 seconds to travel to us from the Moon
  • 8.4 minutes to travel from the Sun
  • 4.15 hours to travel from the Sun to Neptune, the most remote planet in the Solar System
  • 17 hours to travel to the current location of Voyager 1, the farthest man made object from Earth
  • ~0.8 years to travel from us to the Oort Cloud, a hypothesised spherical cloud of icy comets centered around the Sun, which marks the boundary of the solar system
  • 4.2 years to travel to us from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to Sun.
  • 1,100 years to travel to us from the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way
  • 100,000 years to travel across the whole disc of the galaxy itself
  • 2.5 million years to travel to us from the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest neighbour
  • 110 million years to travel across the Virgo Supercluster, our small, local little corner of the universe

After this it stops making sense to say “a distance x”, as the expansion of the universe warps our perception of distance on these immense timescales. Therefore, when you hear radio static, 1% of that is said not to originate from a place, but rather a time, roughly 13.5 billion years ago - the cosmic microwave background from the time of recombination at the dawn of the universe.

TL;DR: The universe is big.

(Photo: pretendy)

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I'm a physics student at the University of Warwick, UK.


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