I had this though back in collage and asked my professor and he gave me a very short attempt to answer the question then said he was never quite sure about all this relativistic stuff... I didn't get my answer though but I have not forgot my question. Say a space ship was headed toward the sun at 0.9 c. Now to the guys on the space ship should see the earth and sun look very oblique as they would have contracted their length in the direction of their motion and would also see the sun way closer than the guys on the earth. The guys on the earth would see the space ship looking very short in length, and it would be the normal 1AU from the sun just as it passes by the earth. My question was, would the guys on earth see the space ship to be on fire, as in the space ships frame the ship would be very close to the sun. Also, the space ship guys would see the sun equaly close to the them and the earth so they should maybe see the earth on fire on the sunward side. My teacher said something about intensity of the radiation and then quickly dropped the conversation and said, I have never quite signed onto this theory.... but in any case of his opinion, I didn't get an answer. So, would the guys on earth see the space ship burning up as it passed the earth? Thanks.