Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Speed or Compressed Time/Space

  1. Aug 16, 2011 #1
    I admit upfront, I'm a little insane, but since I love this subject, I hope those in the know can help educate me when they feel the urge.

    Anyway, I was wondering about a question.

    When an object is traveling through space, say a comet, does it speed up at it approaches the sun, or does time and space compress?

    When I see the image of a comet, I think of a loose object experiencing the compounded effect of different time and gravity density.

    What are the possibilities of something like this?

    Many thanks. I hope to find an open and warm community here. I have thousand of strange and curious questions, most of which I don't expect to find solid answers, but I'd love to hear other perspectives.

    Warm Regards
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2011 #2
    Wow never thought of that. Well my 1st instinct says that it speeds up from the gravity pull of the sun and the the eccentricity of the comet's orbit. Im not quite sure of what you mean by space-time compressing it, but I think I have an idea. You mean like ST being more compact from the sun's gravity so it looks like it travels faster?? My next question would be how do you feel about when this comet is slowest and furthest away?

    I dont think it has an effect
  4. Aug 16, 2011 #3
    I've heard of studies, where 2 atomic clocks were used to measure time on earth and in space. When the clocks were brought back together, there was a time difference, or so I heard. I don't know which was fast.

    But the long trail of a comet doesn't make sense to me. If there was resistance in space, I could understand the lighter particles lagging behind. But there isn't. Why would the gravity of the sun pull differently on one particle vs another? Why doesn't the gravity of the larger comet body have more influence on the tail dust then the sun?

    It seems to me that without the physical bonds holding the comet together, the only thing that could explain this strange phenomenon is a compounding effect of difference in gravity and time.

    In other words, the leading body of the comet is in a denser gravity then the trail and perhaps even a denser time frame. Even it was by mere microsecond, or even nanosecond, it could explain the expanding object was it gets closer to the sun.

    Just a thought. I don't understand enough about how gravity bends time and space to really know.
  5. Aug 16, 2011 #4
    I think as it gets further away, the gravity of the particles and larger objects pull it back together.

    Also, if my idea has any merit, as the comet began it's departure from the solar system, the effect would reverse. In other words, the tail would also be in a slightly denser time field and therefore perhaps travel what seems like peco-seconds faster then the objects in front of the objects trailing. This would cause a compressing effect of the comet into a tighter space.
  6. Aug 16, 2011 #5
    Im still not understanding exactly what you are asking.

    The thing about the atomic clock is true. Honestly I dont know much about it. Scientists also had 1 clock, and then another next to it but 10 feet higher or something like that. One of them (I assume the lower one) moved ever so slightly slower.

    1)The thing about the comet, dont forget about the solar wind. The suns warmth melts the ice and dust and the wind blows it off opposite of the Sun. You could say thats the resistance.

    2) It doesnt pull differently. I guess it would matter how close it is but 2 objects of different size would move towards the sun at the same speed. We see this on earth. Whether its a Jumbo jet or a bowling ball being dropped from 30,000 feet, its still ganna fall at 9.8 m/s.

    3) I am completely lost on this. I dont think it makes a difference from end to tail of the actual comet rock itself being close to the sun. Its very very minute to even matter. If we were at the Event Horizon of a BH or something everything would be stretched from head to toe, but also an extreme and a different case. We dont feel our feet pulling away from us when standing up. The time difference b/w our head and feet are probably smaller than a pecosecond. You might be thinking to hard about this, or you might be on a right track but only for extreme cases like a BH where physics seem to change.

    expanding object??
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook