Resolutions. . .shmezolutions

One of my fav things to do is take the telescope outdoors to focus the lens on Saturn, or Jupiter, or the Moon ...or the remains of Gene Roddenberry ...jk. I'm at least one rung below an amateur astronomer-gazer (which is okay, there are advantages). Even though my knowledge of star stuff is limited, the following concept I do understand...

Consider that the nearest star is roughly 4.3 light-years away

A simple definition for light-year is: the distance light travels in one year (just for fun, let: one year = one HAPPY NEW YEAR!, in honor of today).

Light travels (in a vacuum) at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, or 5,869,713,600,000 (5.8 trillion) miles in one year HAPPY NEW YEAR!. (186,000 x 60 x 60 x 24 x 365.25)

Warning: This next part is gonna remind you of your school math book...
If Jimmy drove at a rate of 60 miles per hour for 24 hours a day, it would take him 11,160,000 years to cover the distance light travels in just one year HAPPY NEW YEAR!. (5,869,713,600,000 / 60 / 24 / 365.25) Even if Jimmy were a pilot traveling at Mach 1, 24 hours a day, it would still take him nearly 873,012 years.* (5,869,713,600,000 / 767 / 24 / 365.25)

But remember, the nearest star is 4.3 light-years away, so we have to multiply our answers by 4.3. Even traveling at Mach 1, it would take more than 3.5 million years to reach the nearest star. That's ASTRONOMICAL! ;-)

So, What's the point, you ask? To illustrate that we can't reach the stars; we can reach for the stars, but we can't reach the stars. It's not possible. However, the stars (their light, their beauty... ) can reach us. Perhaps that's something even better

...just something to consider when making New Year's resolutions.

*Note: Even if Jimmy were a space shuttle captain, traveling at space shuttle speed (whatever rate that is), we're still talking about thousands of years.

These calculations were made possible using Microsoft's Windows calculator apologies, UNIX people.

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