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Parsec: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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A parsec is a unit of distance measurement, equal to 3.262 light-years or 19.2 trillion miles. The parsec measurement was often used to measure stellar cartography by starship navigators. (TOS novel: Mission to Horatius)

This article uses material from the "Parsec" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

A parsec (or parallax arc-second) is a unit of astronomical measurement, equal to roughly 3.26 light years. It was in common use by the United Federation of Planets in the 23rd and 24th centuries.

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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

"It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs."
Han Solo, referring to the Millennium Falcon

A parsec was a measurement of distance equal to approximately 3.26 light years.


Behind the scenes

By real world definition, a parsec is 360×60×60/2π Astronomical Units (AU). It is a measurement of distance based on apparent stellar motion as observed from Earth.

Since the Galactic Standard "AU", would be based on Coruscant's orbit (368 days) it would equal 150,349,907,726 meters. This makes a Galactic Standard parsec equal 31,011,894,586,294,500 meters.

Note, that it is also possible that the Coruscant Day, Hour, etc. are 0.75% shorter than Earth's, in which case, the AU and parsec would be the same length as Earth's.

Earth has a year 365.2424 days long and an AU of 149,597,870,691 meters. This makes an Earth based parsec equal 30,856,775,813,057,300 meters.

Planet Orbit
Earth 365.2424 149,597,870,691 30,856,775,813,057,300
Coruscant 368 150,349,907,726 31,011,894,586,294,500

The "Decoded" version of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode Dooku Captured says that six parsecs equals about 114 trillion miles, although it would be closer to 116 trillion miles using either figure. Coruscant may be closer or farther to its sun than Earth is.

The Essential Atlas says a parsec is 3.26 light-years.


A New Hope Mess-up?

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, a boastful Han Solo claims that his spaceship made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. This is odd because he says parsec like it is a unit of time, but it really is a unit of distance.

The thing to keep in mind about Solo's claim of doing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs is that the Kessel Run is through the Maw. Event Horizons around black holes are dependent on the speed at which you are travelling. A standard ship has to do the run in 18 parsecs because to cut the route any closer, the ship would get sucked in. The Falcon, however, is fast enough to straighten the route and cut over 6 parsecs off the distance travelled. This makes sense, since the Falcon's hyperdrive is often rated as a x.5 rather than a x1 standard, potentially making it twice as fast as standard ships. While this argument may all be after-the-fact justification for an actual scriptwriting error, the logic does hold, although Solo could have just been boasting to his potential clients.

On the other hand, a parsec is a very small unit in astronomical terms, only 3.26 light years. Elementary arithmetic shows that if the Galaxy is the same size as the Milky Way, roughly 30,000 parsecs across, any ship capable of travelling across the galaxy in only a few weeks would travel six parsecs in less than ten minutes-- hardly a significant difference. A similar issue arises in The Courtship of Princess Leia, when it takes more than a week to travel a distance of only seventy parsecs (the stated distance between Dathomir and Coruscant).



External links

This article uses material from the "Parsec" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 05, 2010

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future

A Parsec is a unit of length, used to measure the distance between stars. The name parsec stands for "parallax of one second of arc", and allows calculating distances to nearby stars using simple observation and trigonometric parallax (apparent motion of an object due to change of position of the observer). It is one of the oldest Terran methods for measuring the distances to stars. A parsec is based on a baseline of 1 Astronomical unit.

The Solomani define one parsec to be the distance from the Terra to a star that has a parallax of 1 arcsecond, and equals 3.261 light-years or 206,265 Astronomical units. By coincidence this distance is very close to the maximum distance a jump-1 drive can jump. Because of this, 'parsec' has become the standard word used for this distance within the Imperium.

Other races, using the orbital distance of their home world and different definitions of an arcsecond would derive different values for a parsec, but these wouldn't be Imperial parsecs.


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