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Okay,I'm not sure if I put the question right but here it is. They figured out with what speed light travels through vacuum which is 300,000 km/sec and I can kind of imagine how they found it out.They probably put light source in point A and measured how long it took the light to reach point B in a vacuum.However,in space,how do they know that it takes 8 minutes for the sun light to reach us.It's not like they switched the sun off and then on with timer counting how long it took sun-light to reach us since they turned it on.I'm not even talking how they are able to locate objects that are 15 billion light years away.Please help me to clear this thing out,it stuck in my head and I can't stop thinking about it.Thanks a lot in advance.
And got the following answer:
> "how do they know that it takes 8 minutes for the sun light to reach us" 1. They measured the speed of light (There are different ways to do this: see the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_light#Measurement ) 2. They made the assumption that light everywhere travels at the same speed (this has been so well verified that it's now considered a law of physics). 3. They measured the distance to the sun. This was not very easy to do: the first good measurement was done in the 1760's by careful observations of the motion of Venus across the face of the sun, measured from two widely separated spots on earth. See the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_unit And finally: 4. The used this well-known formula: time = distance / speed That formula is good for everything that travels, from bicycles to baseballs to light beams. They plugged in the distance to the sun, and plugged in the speed of light, and got an answer of about 8.3 minutes.