How Many Years Does It Take for a Star’s Light to Reach Earth?

The length of time light from other stars needs to travel to reach the Earth varies greatly. While it takes light from the sun just over eight minutes to reach Earth, light from the farthest known galaxy has to travel for 13.3 billion years.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second when moving through the vacuum of space. The distance between stars is so vast that light from Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the solar system, still takes over four years to reach the Earth. Light from the most distant stars has been traveling since just after the formation of the universe.