Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Geeking out at Work

You can tell we are being really productive, when someone asks how long it would take the Millennium Falcon to travel 200,000 light years... and then we proceed to research the answer. No, we don't normally talk about Star Wars - in fact I don't recall a previous Star Wars conversation - but today we did.


First we had to find out how fast the Falcon is, right? Are you aware that there is a Wookieepedia? Amazing, right? I suppose there is a wikia for just about anything out there, right?


Okay, so from the Wookiepedia, I find the line I was looking for "she does 0.5 past light speed." But .5 what? Is that a percentage or a unit? km/sec? miles/hr? What?


Trying to find that answer, we looked at the statment Han made that they "did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs." What's a parsec? A Parsec is "a unit of length, equal to just over 30 trillion kilometres, or about 3.3 light years." Wait. So a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Since the Kessel Run is an 18 parsec route, I was kinda confused as to how he could run it in 12 parsecs. That's sort of like saying "I did a 30 meter race in 20 meters." Huh?


Apparently, "Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance, he may have indirectly referred to the speed of his ship here because to be able to go closer to black hole and still be able to get out of its gravitational pull you will need to be able to go faster. However, parsec relates to time in that a shorter distance equals a shorter time at the same speed. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs."


Never helped us solve our question, but we should all do some actual work. Don't you feel a bit more enlightened now, though?

1 comment:

FREIDA HALL said...

OMG! This blog is so YOU! Not the topic... but the way that you really took the time to explore the topic and research it... I always think YOU know at least something about everything... really.