Ask Ellen: How does light travel from the sun to Earth?

Ask Ellen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — I love this question from our most recent kid viewer, Sam. He wants to know how light can possibly travel millions and millions of miles through space all the way to the planet Earth.

In outer space, there is nothing — not even air. Outer space is a giant vacuum. But luckily for us, little particles of light called “photons” can still travel through it. Light is very good at traveling too. In fact, light is the fastest thing known to man. It travels at more than 183,292 miles per second!

Even at that fast speed, it takes photons of light a full 8 minutes and 30 seconds to travel from the sun to the Earth. That’s because the sun is a whopping 93 million miles away.

The moon is much closer to us than the sun. Even though it takes light more than eight minutes to make the journey from the sun to Earth, it only takes light a single second to reach us from the surface of the moon.

If your kid has a weather or science question for Ellen, send it to us! Email video or written questions to The7On8@woodtv.com.

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