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International Year of Astronomy - IYA2009
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How far is 'unimaginably far'?
We often speak of 'astronomically high prices' – 'astronomic' is a common way of describing anything that is extremely large. As a matter of fact, units of measurement are used in the field of astronomy that are far greater than the scale we are used to in everyday life. The nearest star – Proxima Centauri – is around 40,000,000,000,000 kilometres away. This example already shows that the unit of length that we are familiar with, the (kilo-) metre, is completely unsuitable for describing distances in the Universe – but what units are more suitable?
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Last update: 05/10/2009 10:31:00