Science Questions

Sat, 1st Oct 2005

Part of the show Science of Lasers, Light, Kung Fu and Archimedes

Question

Alexander asked:

How long does it take the sun's rays to reach Pluto?

Answer

Pluto is about 6 billion kilometres away from the sun and light travels at 300 000 kilometres every second. To put that in perspective, if you stood on the equator with a torch and switched it on, in one second the light would travel round the earth at least six times. In other words, it's travelling about a billion kilometres every hour. That means that to get to Pluto, light will take about five and a half to six hours to get from the sun.

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