HomeReviewsNASA Scientist Shows How Incredibly Slow the Speed of Light Is.
NASA Scientist Shows How Incredibly Slow the Speed of Light Is.
August 16, 2019
The scientist James O’Donoghue made numerous videos to explain that compared to the large size of the world, the speed of light is not an important deal.
Since we go to school and see our first physics class, we learn that the speed of light is almost 300,000 kilometers per second in the void. At that time we also learned that in theory there is no object that can exceed that speed.
The fact of being able to overcome it is, at least until now, inconceivable outside of science fiction. That’s why it would be weird if someone told us that the speed of light isn’t really that fast. After all, with what could it be compared so that the light looked as if it were slow?
Apparently, a NASA scientist has the answer. James O’Donoghue is a planetary scientist working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
One of his latest projects has been to calculate and explain through different thematic animations about the solar system. Among these are a group of three videos that show how long it takes the light to cross certain distances in space.
One of the animations is crossing the Earth, another from Earth to the Moon and the last one is traveling from Earth to Mars. The result is impressive because travel times are notoriously scaling.
Crossing the Earth.
The Ecuador of our planet measures only slightly more than 40,000 kilometers. This is not much for the speed of light, as its photons could circle the globe 7.5 times in a single second. Obviously, in this case, it looks fast.
From the Earth to the moon.
Between the Earth and its satellite, there is an average distance of 384,400 kilometers. In this distance to the light, it does not cost much to travel, because it does so in only 1,255 seconds.
From Earth to Mars.
However, here there is already a noticeable difference. In the greatest approach that Earth and Mars have, the two planets are at a distance of 54.6 million kilometers. This translates into a displacement of about 3 minutesand 20 seconds. In total, on a round trip, the journey takes place in 6 minutes and 4 seconds.
Beyond that, it is even worse…
From that point, the scales already become too frustrating. For instance, the extent of the Sun to Earth is 149.6 million kilometers, which means that the light takes about 8 minutes and 19 seconds to arrive. Worse is if we check the average distance from the Sun to Pluto, which is almost 6 billion kilometers. If we look further, the exoplanet closest to ours is 4.2 light-years from us. In conclusion, even if the speed of light is reached, humanity would find it very difficult to know the space beyond the solar system.
And if you leave the solar system it makes you laugh:
In the image below, the tiny blue ball inside the Milky Way represents the extension reached during 200 years traveling at the speed of light of our demigrating radio signals.
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