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How far could you go riding on a beam of light?

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second.

That’s 11,160,000 miles per minute.

Or 669,600,000 M.P.H. (Miles Per Hour).

Before you sneak out on that light beam, let’s figure out how long your journeys will take.


The sun is around 93,000,000 miles from earth.

We measure the planets in Astronomical Units (AU). An AU is the distance from Earth to the Sun, about 150 million kilometers).

Put that into minutes (500/60) and it takes 8.3 minutes to ride from earth to the sun, a place so hot it will burn more than your feet! *

8.3 minutes is about the time it takes to read Riding on a Beam of Light!

It only takes 1.3 light seconds to reach the Moon riding a beam of light.*

It took 3 days for astronauts to reach the Moon on their last adventure.

It takes 1.4 light hours to get to Saturn.*

And just 1 light-nanosecond to get to your dinner plate.* A nanosecond is one billionth of a second!

Light travels about a foot in a billionth of a second. So people near you are typically light-nanosecods away.*

*Courtesy of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson


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