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Can we decrese the timegap of space telsecope images?

  1. Dec 2, 2014 #1
    Recently I have watched a video from The Hubble Telescope on You Tube .
    He says,light travels with the speed of light through the space for billions of light years to reach us from other planet . The images what we are seeing from the Hubble telescope are the past images of that particular focussed planet or star or galaxy.
    There are lot of time differences from other celestial bodies like, from sun it is 8 min, from Saturn its around 4 years ,hundreds of years from other closest galaxies .So can we decrease the time of receiving of images/can we see them a bit earlier by any other means , I mean, by using any advanced technology or any new kind of telescopes ?????
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2014 #2


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    Hi Vphysics2013

    No, it's not possible. You're asking to see the light from an object before it managed to reach you going at the maximum possible speed. Our observations will always be burdened with this time lag.

    By the way, it's ~80 light minutes to Saturn, and 2.5 million light years to the closest major galaxy (Andromeda).
  4. Dec 2, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Information like images or material objects like matter are limited to traveling no faster than the speed of light. So the farther a cosmic object is from us the longer it will take its light to reach us. We can't defeat that limit with the technology we have today.

    In addition, there are other delays in transmission due to signal loss and bandwidth of transmission. As an example, a probe may perform some measurements on a planet and it will take some time for us to receive the complete transmission from the probe, reassemble it and then analyze or view it.
  5. Dec 2, 2014 #4
    Is time=distance travelled /speed , applicable to the light travelling through space ? or are there any other equations to apply to calculate the time of flight between different planets?
  6. Dec 2, 2014 #5


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    The speed of light is a hard limit on the transfer of information.

    Now, it is true that General Relativity does place a wrinkle in this: the time it takes for light to take one path can be different from the time it takes to take another path. But in order for this time difference to become large enough to be relevant to the transmission of information, you need rather extreme space-time curvature. Even having a black hole between you and the source won't usually lead to all that much difference in light travel time.

    It is possible to write down spacetime curvature on paper that will get around this problem, but it not only requires negative-mass matter which probably doesn't exist, it also requires obscenely-high energies.
  7. Dec 2, 2014 #6
    The metric expansion of space affects the time taken to see, as it affects the distance over time.
  8. Dec 3, 2014 #7


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    The are any number of ways you can delay a photon, but, no known way to 'speed it up'. The only hypothetical shortcut with which I am familiar involves wormholes, which apparently require exotic matter, as Chalnoth noted. Even the Alcubierre drive involves creating a wormhole of sorts, and also requires exotic matter. We have zero evidence for the existence of any such form of matter.
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