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1 ly (lightyear) = 6,000,000,000,000 miles (our closest star "Alpha Centauri" is 4 light years away)
1 pc (parsec) = 3.2 light years
1 Mpc (megaparsec) = 3,262,000 light years (our closest galaxy "Andromeda" is 0.77 Mpc from Earth)
1 Gpc (gigaparsec) = 3,262,000,000 light years
The Virgo consortium, an international group of astrophysicists from the UK, Germany, Japan, Canada and the USA has released first results from the largest and most realistic simulation ever of the growth of cosmic structure and the formation of galaxies and quasars. (2 June 2005 Issue of "Nature")
Definition: A parsec (symbol pc) is a unit of length used in astronomy. The length of the parsec is based on the method of trigonometric parallax, one of the oldest methods for measuring the distances to stars.
The name parsec stands for "parallax of one second of arc", and one parsec is defined to be the distance from the Earth to a star that has a parallax of 1 arcsecond. The actual length of a parsec is approximately 3.262 light-years.
Music by Pink Floyd: "Learning to Fly"
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