Its about time we updated our terminology for referring to distances in space. The reason is simple: a light year is an extremely far distance with a name that makes it seem extremely close. By using the term ‘year’ combined with ‘light’, it makes it seem like travelling a light year can be achieved in around a year. The word light further compounds this visual misrepresentation, making it seem like it is a relatively close distance. So, instead, I have figured out a way to represent miles in a way that will properly convert into light years. I call this term an octal mile. It sounds like it might be 8 miles, but that would be a hexa-mile. An octal mile is actually 64,000 miles. Why 64,000? Well, because there are 91.85 billion octal miles in exactly one light year. Having a much smaller unit of measurement will allow future astronomers to talk about the distance to far away objects that fall under a light year.
For example, if it takes 4 months for light from a planet to reach us, we can say it is 4/12 or 1/3 of a light year away. Further – we can also state that it is around 30 billion octal miles away from us. If our rocket ship travels 8000 miles per second, then 8 seconds = 1 octal mile, which means that the spaceship will take around 240 billion seconds, or 4 billion minutes, or 66 million hours, to get there. All this math was done in my head, thus justifying the need for the octal mile.
You can download an easy-to-use tool for this conversion here: