Video

Scientific notation word problem: speed of light (Full video)

Khan Academy

Supporting grades: 8

Description: Amazingly, we can figure out how far the sun is from the earth if we know how to multiply numbers in scientific notation. Created by Sal Khan and Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. The speed of light is 3 times 10 to the eighth meters per second. So as you can tell, light is very fast, 3 times 10 to the eighth meters per second. 5 times 10 to the second, that's 500 seconds. You have 60 seconds in a minute, so 8 minutes would be 480 seconds. So 500 seconds would be about 8 minutes, 20 seconds. It takes 8 minutes, 20 seconds for light to travel from the sun to the earth. What is the distance, in meters, between the sun and the earth?

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