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View Full Version : Exactly how long is a parsec?

Hasbro'sBountyHunter
06-23-2002, 06:21 PM
?:confused:?

06-23-2002, 06:31 PM
I believe it's a simple unit of space measure...it's like a naut, but in space. I'm guessing a few thousand kilometers.

Exhaust Port
06-23-2002, 11:58 PM
Parsec: The unit of length used for distances beyond the solar system. It is the distance at which the astronomical unit subtends one second of arc, and is therefore 206 205 AU, 3.086x10(13) km, 3.26 light year. From PARallax SECond. Abbrev. pc

And all of that was from memory....:rolleyes:

06-24-2002, 09:29 AM
Drat. You beat me to it Exhaust Port. ;) Mine was from memory, too...

anarky
06-26-2002, 01:07 PM
it's a unit of time--han solo was a braggart who didn't know what he was talking about

Bel-Cam Jos
06-26-2002, 07:06 PM
It's the same as 10 Hawaiian minutes.

Other equations:
1/10 of a decaparsec,
1/1000 of a kiloparsec
1/60 of a parmin
+1 of a birdiesec
+2 of an eaglesec
no relation to a Not Brand Pars-ech
take Dramamine to keep from getting carsec

Hee hee... :D

Obi-Don
06-27-2002, 06:05 AM
Just remember to change your oil every 3000 parsecs and don't forget to have your thrusters rotated to.

darthvyn
06-27-2002, 03:27 PM
fill'er up, and could you check the negative power coupling?

Exhaust Port
06-28-2002, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by anarky
it's a unit of time--han solo was a braggart who didn't know what he was talking about

A parsec is a unit of distance not time. The definition states 1 second of arc. In describing 3 dimensional space, relative distances (in relation to the observer) are given in degrees which are broken down into seconds. Latitude and Longitudes are also discribed this way. 42 degrees 30' (minutes) 15" (seconds) for example. So if an object moves appears to move from 1 star to the next across the sky, it would cover so many degrees/seconds of the night sky or parsecs. It's also been stated to equal 3.26 light years of distance. One second of arc could mean anything, from 1 mile to 1 million depending on the distance from the observer but it's been standardized to the 3.26 light years.

I've heard the argument about Han Solo discribing his record trip in distance (parsecs) not time. One explaination is that since long distant travel is made in hyperspace (curved space) that making a journey in a shorter "distance" would be impressive. You, or Han, were able to warp space enough to greatly shorten the distance between 2 points.

I'd be willing to believe that argument but I think it's more fun to think that Han had no idea what he was talking about and just threw around fancy terms to impress others. :happy:

Jek Porky 2002
06-29-2002, 02:18 PM
Damn you beat me to it, I wanted to explain it!

Exhaust Port
06-29-2002, 03:28 PM
Boy, I beat 2 people to post in this thread alone! Go Me! :)

Dar Basra
12-12-2002, 05:42 PM
Han had no idea what he was talking about and just threw around fancy terms to impress others. :happy: Actually, George was snickered at by the scientific community for ANH's "parsec" faux pas, and I think he specifically nods to that rebuking in AOTC.

Han Solo: "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs"

Dexter Jettster: "It's about 12 parsecs outside the Rishi Maze"

I think using the number "12" again indicates an intential allusion to the former line, as if to say, "See - I got it right this time!"

Of course, when Obi-Wan is then trying to explain to the librarian where Kamino should be, he says "south of the Rishi Maze" (it's possible Dexter uses "south" as well, though I think he says "outside"). Somehow, I think a space-traveling civilization would not use a 2-dimensional map reference term (south) to indicate position in a 3-dimensional galaxy. Even if you argue that there is an accepted up/down directional awareness, based upon the galaxies' orbital plane, the term "south" would still only give you a general heading, that could be wrong by up to 90 degrees in any direction. "Below" would be just as accurate, and a more reasonable term for indicating general position relative to the galactic plane.

(PS - the official web site also attempts to explain the ANH goof: http://www.starwars.com/community/askjc/jocasta/askjc20020221.html)

darthvyn
12-15-2002, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by Dar Basra
(PS - the official web site also attempts to explain the ANH goof: http://www.starwars.com/community/askjc/jocasta/askjc20020221.html)

gotta admit, it sounds pretty good...

mini-rock
12-16-2002, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
Parsec: The unit of length used for distances beyond the solar system. It is the distance at which the astronomical unit subtends one second of arc, and is therefore 206 205 AU, 3.086x10(13) km, 3.26 light year. From PARallax SECond. Abbrev. pc

And all of that was from memory....:rolleyes:

GEEZ!! I can't even remember what color socks I have on unless I take my shoes off. Oh wait, I'm not wearing shoes.:eek: