If it only takes 8 minutes for that light to reach the Earth, what took up most of all that time to get to the Earth?

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    $\begingroup$ Unclear what you're asking. If it takes you 8 minutes to drive from your house to the store, those 8 minutes are spent... driving from your house to the store. You don't teleport there instantly and sit outside in your car for 8 minutes before going in or something like that. $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2021 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @NuclearHoagie On the other side, if I am a tiny li'l photon, there would be no time, so able to teleport instantly (my reference frame). Best. $\endgroup$
    – hki
    Jan 11, 2021 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @iter, if you're a photon you don't have a reference frame. (Also you don't have an internet connection ;-) $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Jan 11, 2021 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: Because light doesn't travel at an infinite speed.

Light travels at exactly 299,792,458 meters per second, and one AU is equal to 149,597,870,700 meters. Therefore, it takes about 500 seconds, or 8 minutes and 20 seconds, for light to travel from the Sun to Earth.

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    $\begingroup$ expected to find comment saying "username checks out" $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Jan 12, 2021 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ I often see comments saying that, pointing out a relation between the username of the person and the text they wrote. Your username is closely related to your answer. Google for site:stackexchange.com "username checks out" to see more :-) $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Jan 12, 2021 at 19:27

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