I just had a weird idea about observable time
Sunday, December 04, 2011

It just suddenly hit me somehow. I'm sure others have thought of it before, but I haven't really read anything about it yet so I thought, hey this is quite interesting. And I shall not Google for it since it'll dampen my brilliance.

So here's my idea.

You all know about the speed of light, 299,792,458 m/s to be exact. I hope you have a slight idea about the theory of general relativity and special relativity.

If you don't, in short, it just means that, the faster you go, the slower time passes in your perspective relative to a stationary person. Because of your relative distance to the place that is "measuring" the time. To put it into daily example, imagine an ambulance as it whizzes past you, the sound gets trailed off as it moves away from you, the pitch changes, but in the perspective of the driver, the pitch always remains the same. Fun fact: The law of general relativity is also used in GPS.

Okay, so you have that, and we also know about light years, it's the measure of distance according to how much distance light travels in a year.

It is fascinating because, let's say for example, we're observing a star that is 100 light years away. What we see isn't the star, but what the star was 100 years ago. So, we are literally looking back into the past. Yes seriously, I'm not kidding. 

So I thought about it for awhile.

IF. I was able to travel 365 times faster than the speed of light. Effectively making 1 light year = 1 kaboom day. So, in 50 of my days, I would be able to reach a planet 50 light years away.

Now, if I had an exceptionally powerful telescope, able to zoom 50 light years across.

Would I be able to see Earth 
from 49 years, 315 days ago?

Theoretically, I would think yes. What do you think?

Labels: , , , , , ,