Did You Know?
The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second), and in theory nothing can travel faster than light.
The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second), and in theory nothing can travel faster than light. In miles per hour, light speed is, well, a lot: about 670,616,629 mph. If you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second.
Early scientists, unable to perceive light's motion, thought it must travel instantaneously. Over time, however, measurements of the motion of these wave-like particles became more and more precise. Thanks to the work of Albert Einstein and others, we now understand light speed to be a theoretical limit: light speed — a constant called "c" — is thought to be not achievable by anything with mass, for reasons explained below. That doesn't stop sci-fi writers, and even some very serious scientists, from imagining alternative theories that would allow for some awfully fast trips around the universe.