https://www.storyboardthat.com/space-words/light-year

Illustrated Guide to Astronomy

Light-Year


A light-year is an astronomical unit of distance equal to 9.5 trillion kilometers (5.9 trillion miles), defined as the distance light travels in an Earth year.

Light-year
Light-year

Example

Create a Storyboard

The universe is big and the distances between the objects in it can be surprisingly large too. A light-year is defined as the the distance light can travel in one Earth year. It can be calculated by multiplying the speed of light (3 x 108 m/s or 300,000,000 m/s) by the length of a year (365.25 days or 3.15 x 107 seconds). Light years to meters: 9.45 x 1015 m, or 9.45 trillion kilometers!

An advantage to using the light-year as a unit of distance is that it makes us realise that light doesn’t move instantaneously. If a galaxy is a million light-years away, it means that the light has taken a million years to reach Earth. This means that when we observe a galaxy that is a million light years away, we are actually looking at the galaxy a million years ago.

For distances within a star system, the light-year is normally too big a distance to use. For example, the distance from the Sun to Earth is 0.00000156 light-years. The unit is mostly suited to intergalactic distances. Astronomers prefer to use the astronomical distance unit the parsec, but the light-year has survived as a popular unit. The term 'light-year' has been mentioned in many popular science fiction works, such as Star Trek.

This term is often confused as a unit of time because it includes the word 'year'. Sometimes people will write things like “technology is light-years ahead”; this can add to confusion about the term. A light-year is a unit of distance, like miles or kilometers—only on a much larger scale.

Distance to Astronomical Objects

  • Alpha Centauri: 4.4 light-years
  • Andromeda Galaxy: 2.5 million light-years
  • The Moon: 40.4 x 10-9 light-years
  • The Center of the Milky Way: 26 million light-years

Other Astronomical Units of Distance

  • astronomical unit (AU), the distance from sun to Earth - 150 million km
  • parsec, the parallax of one arcsecond - 31 trillion km
  • Create a Storyboard
    See All Astronomy Terms

    How do I use this?

    The illustrated guide storyboards have easily digestible information with a visual to stimulate understanding and retention. Storyboard That is passionate about student agency, and we want everyone to be storytellers. Storyboards provide an excellent medium to showcase what students have learned, and to teach to others.

    Student Presenting a Storyboard

    Use these illustrated guides as a springboard for individual and class-wide projects!


    • Assign a term/person/event to each student to complete their own storyboard
    • Create your own illustrated guide of a topic you are studying
    • Create an illustrated guide to the people in your class or school
    • Post storyboards to class and school social media channels
    • Copy and edit these storyboards and use as references or visuals
    Create a Storyboard

    Pricing




    Create a Storyboard
    https://www.storyboardthat.com/space-words/light-year
    © 2019 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.

    Help Share Storyboard That!

    Explore Our Articles and Examples

    Business Resources

    All Business ArticlesBusiness Templates

    Film Resources

    Film ResourcesVideo Marketing

    Illustrated Guides

    BusinessEducation
    Try Our Other Websites!

    Photos for Class   •   Quick Rubric   •   abcBABYart   •   Storyboard That's TpT Store
    Prefer a different language?

    •   (English) Light-Year   •   (Español) Año luz   •   (Français) Année-lumière   •   (Deutsch) Lichtjahr   •   (Italiana) Anno Luce   •   (Nederlands) Lichtjaar   •   (Português) Ano luz   •   (עברית) שנת אור   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) ضوء السنة   •   (हिन्दी) प्रकाश वर्ष   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Световой год   •   (Dansk) Lysår   •   (Svenska) Ljusår   •   (Suomi) Valovuosi   •   (Norsk) Lysår   •   (Türkçe) Işık Yılı   •   (Polski) Rok Świetlny   •   (Româna) An Lumină   •   (Ceština) Světelný rok   •   (Slovenský) Svetelný rok   •   (Magyar) Fényév   •   (Hrvatski) Svjetlosna Godina   •   (български) Светлинна Година   •   (Lietuvos) Šviesmetis   •   (Slovenščina) Svetlobno Leto   •   (Latvijas) Gaismas Gads   •   (eesti) Valgusaasta