Measuring Distances in Space

28 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2013 Last revised: 31 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 15, 2013


Determining distances in space is a technical phenomenon; astronomers are trying to come up with a correct way to do it. It is not easy for most of us to imagine the truly immense scale of the universe. “Scale,” in this case, refers to the size of an object compared with its surroundings or another object (McGaugh). Distances in the space are vast from one celestial body to another; for instance, it takes a light signal 10.5 years to travel to the nearest star that has planets (Bonnet, 1992). The fact that light travels 30000 times faster than any fastest rockets renders human beings unable to reach to some planets even if they travelled their entire lifetime.

To determine space distance, several methods with different variations are used or have been proposed. These methods, unfortunately, have faults. In this research, I clearly explain several of these methods and their faults and errors. We will also observe the universe as being three-dimensional and flat as explained in Euclidean: Euclidean means that all the geometry and lines (that are taught in mathematics and physics) properties applies. Measuring distance from earth to celestial bodies like star, sun and moon help astronauts to determine the size of the universe; also it helps to estimate the age of universe. Therefore it is important to use correct methods in estimating space distance.

Keywords: Space Science, Measuring distance in space, Contradicting Some measuring methods, Calculating distances using known formulas

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Thabet, Manahel, Measuring Distances in Space (February 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Manahel Thabet (Contact Author)

IBCHN ( email )

No Address Available
United Kingdom


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