James Thomas Smith
186,000 miles per second. Can you imagine that?
No matter how you say it…that’s fast. Check out these facts…
- The moon, right now, is about 238,000 miles from earth. Traveling at the speed of light from the earth to the moon, it would take less than 2 seconds to get there.
- The Voyager 1 spacecraft which was launched into space nearly 30 years ago is still traveling into space. If you could send a radio signal to the Voyager it would take 14 hours to get there. Awesome!
- If you could travel at the speed of light, and remember that’s 186,000 miles PER SECOND, you could fly around the earth 7.5 times in ONE SECOND. Now that’s fast!
- Alpha Centauri, our nearest star system is 4.3 light years away. The light you see from this star system is light that was emitted 4.3 years ago. You’re looking back into history!
- A star that is 152 light years from the earth is shining it’s light that was emitted 152 years ago when the Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the Civil War! That star system is the Gamma Librae. It is a an orange giant that is visible in the southern hemisphere.
When astronomers study stars more than a light year away, they’re seeing the objects as they existed at the time that light left them. Everything we see in the distant universe is, literally, history. So, when you gaze up into the night sky, remember that the light coming from the stars is light that was created a long, long, time ago.
There’s a lot of activity up there in that vast infinite universe that never ends. Do you believe there’s other forms of life existing among the trillions and trillions of planets and star systems? Just maybe. I personally believe there is life out there.
Look up more often into the night sky. You will be amazed at what you might see!
James Thomas Smith
Nola Taylor Redd
Cool Science Facts