MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Star light, star bright

Area: Astronomy
Posted By: Mark Friedman, Undergrad, Biology
Date: Tue Mar 26 00:15:58 1996

Light is very difficult to describe because it behaves light a wave and a particle. For this reason, it would be misleading to specifically refer to light as either a wave or a particle. At present, there is no definite answer to this perplexing question as to the nature of light.

In spite of these questions, there are some facts about light that we do know. In a vacuum, such as what exists in space, light travels at 186,282 miles per second. At this tremendous speed, light emitted from the Sun takes approximately 8 minutes to reach Earth.

As you know, the Sun is the only star that exists in our solar system. Stars that have already undergone supernova, lie millions of light years away from Earth (A light year is the distance an object would travel in one year moving at the speed of light) For this reason, it takes thousands of years for the light of a supernova to reach Earth. Light from a star that went supernova yesterday, wouldn't reach us for thousands of years.

I hope this helps Sarah. Here is a link that may provide some valuable information!

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