Tough Trivia, 7/15/21

The Korean War ran from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, just over three years. M*A*S*H, the medical sitcom set during the Korean War, ran from 1972 to 1983, eleven years. Put these television shows in order by the length of their runs (number of episodes). Bonus points if you remember the actual number of episodes (within 10) of each/any.

  • The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Bonanza
  • Dallas
  • E.R.
  • The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Gunsmoke
  • Happy Days
  • Law & Order (the original)
  • M*A*S*H
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Supernatural


1280px-Solar_sys8Yesterday’s question was: The planets’ orbits around the Sun are ellipses. Nearly circular, but not quite. Nevertheless, we usually quote a single number for the distance from the Sun to, say, Earth. It’s usually quoted in miles or kilometers.

The speed of light is quite nearly 3 x 10^8 meters per second, or 186,000 miles per second. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year. Similarly, a light-minute, light-second, and so on. So your challenge today: how far is each of the planets from the Sun, in light-minutes. (And yes, we’ll accept miles or kilometers instead.)

The answers:

  1. Mercury: 36.1 million miles (57.9 million kilometers) = just over 3 light minutes
  2. Venus: 67.6 million mi (108.2 million km) = 6 light minutes
  3. Earth: 93 million mi (149.6 million km) = 8 light minutes
  4. Mars: 142.5 million mi(228.0 million km) = 12 and a half light minutes
  5. Jupiter: 484 million mi (781 million km) = 43 light minutes
  6. Saturn: 891 million mi (1,437 million km) = 80 light minutes
  7. Uranus: 1,787 million mi (2,883 million km) = 160 light minutes
  8. Neptune: 2,797 million mi (4,511 million km) = 251 light minutes. In other words, it takes light four hours and eleven minutes to reach Neptune from the Sun. So if the Sun suddenly turned off, Neptune wouldn’t know about it for more than four hours.
  9. Pluto: Pluto has a highly elliptical orbit. At it’s closest to the Sun, it is inside Neptune’s orbit, 2,758 million miles from the Sun (4,449 million kilometers), or about 247 light minutes. But at it’s farthest from the Sun, Pluto is about 4,585 million miles (7,396 million kilometers) from the Sun: 411 light minutes.


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.

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