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Discovery Zone - Mission Challenge

See National Math Standards for this Challenge.


Q: How long after the impact happens will it be visible from Earth?

In order for you to be able to answer this question, you just need to know the following information:

  1. The comet (and therefore the impact) will be 0.895 Astronomical Units (AU) away from Earth.
  2. One AU is the average distance between the sun and the Earth, or roughly equal to 92,960,000 miles.
  3. One mile is equal to 1.6093 km.
  4. The speed of light in a vacuum is 2.998 x 108 m/sec (299,800,000 m/s).

All that remains is a matter of converting units. Good luck!

For comparison, try these questions as well. How long would it take to travel the distance between the comet at impact and Earth if you were:

  1. Flying in a jet at around 300 miles per hour (480 kilometers/hr)?
  2. Driving in a car at 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers/hour)?
  3. Riding a horse at around 8 miles per hour (13 kilometers/hour)?
  4. Taking a casual walk at around 30 feet per minute (0.5 kilometers/hour)?

Click here for the answer...

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010