- #1

- 1

- 0

Imagine that a massive object large enough to observe with a powerful telescope was ejected from the sun and began traveling toward earth. It would take about 8.3 minutes for the light from the sun to reach earth so we could observe the initial event. Lets imagine that the force of the ejection is strong enough to cause this object to hurtle toward earth at half the speed of light (for now, lets not get caught up in potential changes in energy and mass of the object). At half light speed, it should take the object approximately 16.6 minutes to reach the earth, assuming steady velocity and no impedance. Now, the moment we first observe in our telescope the ejection of the object, we know that we are seeing what happened 8.3 minutes earlier, but at this moment of observation, the object has already traveled half the distance from the sun to the earth. This means that the object should hit the earth approximately 8.3 minutes after we first observe it leaving the sun.

The question is, what will we see in our telescope if we attempt to observe the objects entire journey from the sun to the earth? Will we see it leave the sun, and then hit the earth 8.3 minutes later, as if it were traveling at the speed of light? It is really only traveling at half the speed of light, which means that it took 16.6 minutes to travel the entire distance, but it is 8.3 minutes after we first observe it leaving the sun that we are hit. Any Ideas?