Light years to Parsecs Converter

Use this converter to easily convert between Light years and Parsecs (ly to pc).

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    Quick navigation:
  1. How many Light years in one Parsec?
  2. Difference between Light years and Parsecs
  3. How to convert Light years to Parsecs?
  4. ly to pc conversion table

    How many Light years in one Parsec?

There are approximately 3.26 light years in one parsec (3.261563 accurate to six digits after the decimal point). The international symbol for light years is "ly" whereas for parsec it is "pc" so we can write 1 pc = 3.26 ly.

    Difference between Light years and Parsecs

Light years express the distance covered by light in one year's time. A year is an Earth-centric measure of time, but other than that the definition of a light-year depends only on the speed of light which is a universal physics constant. This makes light years the unit of choice when it comes to expressing the vast distances between astronomical bodies.

The parsec is defined as the distance at which a star will show an annual parallax of one arcsecond meaning they have particular utility for Earth-based astronomical observations. However, this also means it is based on two arbitrary quantities: the radius of our planet's orbit and the arbitrary choice to divide a circle in 360 degrees (base 60 system). These qualities make the parsec less suitable as a universal distance unit as compared to the light year.

    How to convert Light years to Parsecs?

Knowing that there are 3.26 light-years in a parsec it is apparent that division is needed in the conversion of ly to pc. Simply divide the measure in light years by 3.26 to get the equivalent in parsecs. See the detailed calculation example below.

Light year to Parsec conversion example

Sample task: convert 5 light years to parsecs. Solution:

ly / 3.261563 = pc
5 ly / 3.2616 = 1.533007 pc
End result:
5 ly is equal to 1.533007 pc

    ly to pc conversion table

ly to pc conversion table
ly pc
1 ly 0.306601 pc
2 ly 0.613203 pc
3 ly 0.919804 pc
4 ly 1.226406 pc
5 ly 1.533007 pc
6 ly 1.839609 pc
7 ly 2.146210 pc
8 ly 2.452812 pc
9 ly 2.759413 pc
10 ly 3.066015 pc
20 ly 6.132029 pc
30 ly 9.198044 pc
40 ly 12.264059 pc
50 ly 15.330073 pc
60 ly 18.396088 pc
70 ly 21.462103 pc
80 ly 24.528117 pc
90 ly 27.594132 pc
100 ly 30.660147 pc
200 ly 61.320293 pc
300 ly 91.980440 pc
400 ly 122.640587 pc
500 ly 153.300733 pc
600 ly 183.960880 pc
700 ly 214.621027 pc
800 ly 245.281173 pc
900 ly 275.941320 pc
1,000 ly 306.601467 pc


[1] NIST Special Publication 330 (2008) - "The International System of Units (SI)", edited by Barry N.Taylor and Ambler Thompson

[2] International Organization for Standardization (1993). ISO Standards Handbook: Quantities and units (3rd edition). Geneva: ISO. ISBN 92-67-10185-4.

Cite this converter & page

If you'd like to cite this online converter resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Light Year to Parsec Converter", [online] Available at: URL [Accessed Date: 06 Jul, 2022].