Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fuel a motorbike to go as far as Iota Piscium

For the price of the Iraq War, we could fuel a motorbike to travel as far as Iota Piscium.  

Iota Piscium is a yellowish dwarf star within the constellation Pisces.  It's 45 light-years or 265 trillion miles from the Earth.  While slightly larger than the Sun, it's small enough that it may have Earth-like planets.  

The Honda Super Cub, the top-selling motorcycle in the world, gets 340 miles per gallon.  To travel 45 light-years, the Honda Super Cub would require 779 billion gallons of gas.  In Austin, Texas, gasoline currently costs $3.48 per gallon at the Chevron station at the intersection of Manchaca and Davis Street.  If all the fuel was purchased at these prices, fuel costs to go a distance as far as Iota Piscium would be $2.7 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of over $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.

Image adapted under a Creative Commons License from joelf.