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Stellar Distances

The stars are so far away from us that they appear to be fixed. To measure these large distances we make use of the following units:
  1. Light year: A light year is the distance travelled by light at a speed of 3 × 108 m s–1 in one year.
    One light year = 9.46 × 1015 m
  2. Parsec: A parsec is the distance of a star at which the radius of the earth orbit subtends an angle of one second.
    1 Parsec = 3.26 light years
  3. Astronomical unit (AU): One astronomical unit is the mean distance of the earth from the sun.
    1 AU = 1.496 × 1011 mgo

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