A TED-Ed lesson by astronomer Yuan-Sen Ting explains how to measure extreme distances in space using light years. The animation also gives several example distances to some of our “closest” neighbors. Users can learn more by answering questions and reading additional materials on the TED-Ed lesson page.
When we look at the sky, we have a flat, two-dimensional view. So how do astronomers figure the distances of stars and galaxies from Earth? Yuan-Sen Ting shows us how trigonometric parallaxes, standard candles and more help us determine the distance of objects several billion light years away from Earth.