How Long Does Light Travel from the Sun to the Earth?

How Long Does Light Travel from the Sun to the Earth?
Image: mysteries24.com

Many might believe that light travels instantly but this is not so. The speed of light in a vacuum is a physical constant (i.e. it does not change), which plays an exceptionally important role in physics.

Light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation always travel at a speed of about 300 000 km per second (186 000 miles per second or 186411.358 mi/sec to be exact) in a vacuum.

And even though to us it may seem that it's moving instantly when we turn the light on, this is simply not true. When light is traveling from afar it may actually take it thousands of years to reach us.

That is why communication with distant space probes doesn't happen instantly, as we see in movies, but in reality takes minutes and even hours.

The sun's light takes it less than 1.5 seconds to bounce off and travel from the Moon, our closest celestial body, to Earth. It takes it a long longer, relatively, for it to travel from the Sun to Earth - about 8.31 minutes.

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