Letter to the Editors
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 21:10
In the Oct. 24 issue of The Wellesley News, Features Editor Victoria Hills writes “… light travels at a speed more than 800 times greater than Baumgartner’s peak skydiving velocity …”.
Although Ms Hills is correct when she says that light travels at a speed more than 800 times greater than Baumgartner’s, she missed a chance to emphasize the true difference. The speed of light is about 186,000 miles per second. Baumgartner’s maximum speed was about 834 miles per hour, which (because there are 3600 seconds in an hour) is about .23 miles per second. Therefore, the speed of light is about 800,000 (i.e. almost one million) times greater than Baumgartner’s maximum speed!