The distance between us

401 miles, 648 kilometres or 710,000 yards. Choose which ever you prefer but they all represent the same distance, which is the distance I live now from where I was raised and educated all those years ago. 401 miles sounds like a large distance to me. 2.5 million inches doesn’t strangely.
So if one day I’m feeling a little homesick and missing things found only there, I can reassure myself with the fact that I’m only 2.5 million Inches from home – a mere stroll away. On another day if I’m feeling all Captain Cook-like I can announce with great gusto I’m 401 Miles from home and discovering strange new worlds and seeking out new civilisations. (OK, that’s more Captain Kirk than Captain Cook).
Interestingly, from Earth to the “edge of the universe” (i.e. the distance to the most distant gamma-ray burst detected to date) it is a distance of roughly 13 billion light years. One light year is roughly 6 trillion miles so to work out the distance in miles from Earth to the edge of existence we simply have to multiply 13 billion by 6 trillion. Hmmm. There’s a ludicrous amount of zero’s involved, I think that’s all we need to know. It is a long way. To reach the end of the universe travelling at the speed of a conventional passenger plane, which is about 600 Mph, it would take 10 million years to get there. Better pack a thermos and some sandwiches for that one I think.My flight from current home to original home takes just over an hour, which is slightly more agreeable and survivable for a human being i’m sure you’ll agree. Although with Ryanair, it is never very far from being gravely traumatic.

The distance from the Earth’s North pole to the South pole is roughly 12,000 miles or just under 20,000 kilometres. In a plane travelling at 600 Mph that would take 20 hours. Not bad eh? 20 hours to get from the top of our planet to the bottom – makes planet Earth seem quite tiny. And it is.

every time I venture back home I cover 0.000000000025 of a light year. Put in that context, it feels like quite an achievement even if it is only 2.5 million inches.


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