Return to far (how-to)

The nearest star to our sun (Sol) is Proxima Centauri. It takes a photon of light from it 4.3 years to reach Earth, a distance of 5.88 million million miles. Imagine you decide to walk to it. The average human walks at 3.1 miles per hour. Assume for the sake of this thought experiment that time stops, all motion in the universe ceases. A bridge stretches between a station in our solar system and a station in the Alpha Centauri star system. The bridge has artificial gravity and is enclosed, pressurized, and filled with Earth-type atmosphere.

1 light year is approximately 5.88 million million miles.

There are 24 hours per day, 365.2425 days per year.

Distance to Proxima ÷ walking speed ÷ hours per day ÷ days per year = number of years.

4.3 × (5.88 × 1012) ÷ 3.1 ÷ 24 ÷ 365.2425 ≈ 930.5 million years, nonstop.

If you walk for only about 16 hours per day, taking breaks to eat and sleep, it takes 3/2 more time, about 1,396,000,000 years.

Currently the average human lifespan in a post-industrial country is something like 82 years. The journey would take over 17 million lifetimes. Take every person in Tokyo and New York City and live each one of their lives one after the other, walking every day of their (your) lives. They (you) will have walked far enough to reach Proxima Centauri.

Existing:


Non-Existing: