10 timessound

1638 Galileo Galilei: at least 10 times faster than sound.  

In 1638, Galileo is often credited with being the first scientist to try to determine the speed of light. His method was quite simple. He and an assistant each had lamps which could be covered and uncovered at will. Galileo would uncover his lamp, and as soon as his assistant saw the light he would uncover his. By measuring the elapsed time until Galileo saw his assistant's light and knowing how far apart the lamps were, Galileo reasoned he should be able to determine the speed of the light. His conclusion: "If not instantaneous, it is extraordinarily rapid". Most likely he used a water clock, where the amount of water that empties from a container represents the amount of time that has passed. Galileo just deduced that light travels at least ten times faster than sound.

Speed of Light Historical Measurements