Light from the sun reaches Earth in 8.3 min. The velocity of light is 3.00 108 m/s. Given this info, how would you determine how far the Earth is from the sun?

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Zack M. Share
Dec 26, 2015


#d = 1.49 xx 10^11 "m"#


Velocity is defined as the rate of travel, and can be found using the distance formula.

#"velocity" = "distance"/"time"#

Rearranging this formula we can solve for distance given velocity and time of travel.

#d = vt#

We are given velocity and time, and so can solve for distance, but if we plug in the values given;

#d= (3.00 xx 10^8 "m/s")(8.3"minutes")#

We can see that the units do not match up. Since seconds are the SI unit for time, we will need to convert 8.3 minutes to seconds.

#t = (8.3 "minutes")(60 "seconds/minute")=(498 "s")#

Now our units work out and we can solve for distance.

#d = (3.00 xx 10^8 "m/s")(498 "s")#

#d = 1.49 xx 10^11 "m"#

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