So which is the next closest?
Proxima Centauri, in the Alpha Centauri solar system, is about 4 light-years away, which means that light from this star takes 4 years to reach Earth.
So how far away is that?
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so over the space of 4 years, it covers about 23,462,784,000,000 miles.
So what does that mean in everyday terms?
If you got in your car and could drive there non-stop at 60 mph, it would take you 44,640,000 years to cover the distance. In other words, make sure you eat your breakfast, pack a lunch, and grab your favorite 8-track before starting on the trip.
Obviously, we won’t be able to get there with the vehicles we have today, but research is being done on the technologies that will one day take us there.
Earth is our beginning, but everyone travels at one point or another.