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For other uses, see LY.

A light year, also light-year, abbreviated ly, is the distance light travels in vacuum in one Galactic Standard Year. 3.26 light years make up a parsec, which was a unit of distance that was important in locating star systems in the known galaxy.[1]

Since the Galactic Standard Calendar used a year of 368 days, the length of a Galactic Standard Light Year would have been 9,531,961,160,601,600 meters.

Behind the scenes[]

The above calculation assumes that the Galactic Standard Day, Hour, etc. and Meter are equal to Earth's, and results in a Galactic light year 0.75% longer than an Earth-based light year.

It is also possible that Galactic days (and hours etc.) were 0.75% shorter than their Earth equivalents, and that the light years are the same length. (see below)

The length of a light year depends on the exact length of one year. On Earth, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) uses a Julian year of 365.25 days, while other sources may use a Gregorian year of 365.2425 days, or another year altogether.

Source year (days) light year (meter) light year (miles)
IAU 365.25 9,460,730,472,580,800 5,878,625,373,184
Gregorian 365.2425 9,460,536,207,068,020 5,878,504,662,190
Google 365.242199 9.460 528 4 ×1015 5.878 499 81 ×1012
Yahoo 365.2411 9.460 5 ×1015 5,878,482,164,161
Coruscant 368 9,531,961,160,601,600 5,922,886,070,723

Note that while Yahoo separately reports a year length of 365.24220 days, its rounding of the light year length to five digits results in a year length of ~365.2411 days.


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