Astronomical Debt

Did you know a light year is 5.86 trillion miles? It’s true:

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second (300,000 kilometers per second). Therefore, a light second is 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers). A light year is the distance that light can travel in a year, or:

186,000 miles/second * 60 seconds/minute * 60 minutes/hour * 24 hours/day * 365 days/year = 5,865,696,000,000 miles/year
A light year is 5,865,696,000,000 miles (9,460,800,000,000 kilometers). That’s a long way!

Yeah. I got curious today and looked this up thinking I could phrase the national debt in terms of astronomical units of distance. I found this highly comic:

When you start talking about those kinds of distances, a mile or kilometer just isn’t a practical unit to use because the numbers get too big. No one wants to write or talk about numbers that have 20 digits in them!

You can say that again!

As it so happens, the national debt is quickly approaching 2.5 light years… Literally astronomical.

This entry was posted in Economics, National Debt and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Astronomical Debt

  1. roopost says:


    Come on! It’s only .76 Parsecs! See, not that much given the size of the universe.

    Kind regards,

  2. 71LesPaul says:

    Your Government.. At the speed of light!

    My bar napkin math says 2.5 light years of debt = 650 square miles of $100 dollar bills.

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