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Light year

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One light year (abbreviated ly) is the distance that light travels in one Earth year. It is approximately equal to 9.46e12×1012 kilometers, or 5.88e12×1012 miles.

Light years are common units of measurement used in starship navigation. (TNG: "The Naked Now")

When Commander Benjamin Sisko welcomed the first guest from the Gamma Quadrant in the Alpha Quadrant, a Tosk, he told him that he traveled almost ninety thousand light years through the wormhole. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

In 2369, a Vanoben transport was raided two light years away from Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Vortex")

The same year, Sisko told Kai Opaka that the Gamma Quadrant is seventy thousand light years away from Bajor. (DS9: "Battle Lines")

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Background

The exact length of a light year depends on the exact length used for one "Earth year". The 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 (kilometers) light year (miles)
IAU 365.25 9,460,730,472,581 5,878,625,373,184
Gregorian 365.2425 9,460,536,207,068 5,878,504,662,190
Google 365.242199 9.460 528 4e12×1012 5.878 499 81e12×1012
Yahoo 365.2411 9.460 5e12×1012 5,878,482,164,161

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

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