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[pahr-sek] /ˈpɑrˌsɛk/

noun, Astronomy.
a unit of distance equal to that required to cause a of one of an arc, equivalent to 206,265 times the distance from the earth to the sun, or 3.26 light-years.
a unit of astronomical distance equal to the distance from earth at which stellar parallax would be 1 second of arc; equivalent to 3.0857 × 1016 m or 3.262 light years

interstellar distance measure, 1913, from first elements of parallax second. It is the distance at which an object has parallax (viewed from Earth) of one second of arc, or about 3.26 light-years.
A unit of astronomical length equal to 3.26 light-years. It is based on the distance from Earth at which a star would have a parallax of one second of arc. Its metric equivalent is about 30.8 trillion km (19.1 trillion mi). It is used in measuring distances in interstellar and intergalactic space. The closest star to Earth, Alpha Centauri, is about 1.3 parsecs away. Compare astronomical unit, light-year.

An extensible language with PL/I-like syntax, derived from PROTEUS.
[“PARSEC User’s Manual”, Bolt Beranek & Newman, Dec 1972].
parallax second


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