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Telescopes moving very fast

  1. Aug 27, 2004 #1
    Semi-ignorant question follows:

    Ok, the theoretical maximum observable universe is limited to a number light years slightly less than the age of the universe, but as we increase in speed, the universe flattens out, so, as we approach the speed of light, do we get to see more of the universe in front of us and behind us? (Assuming that we can see gamma rays and radio waves).

    If we don't get to see more, does anything interesting happen when the observable universe flattens to a planck length? (Actually, I am expecting that we do get to see more, because a universe flatter than my anti-matter powered spaceship doesn't make much sense to me).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2004 #2
    The observable universe is bounded by the opaque matter that we call the microwave background radiation. If you could see all the way to the big bang then there would be horizon effects, but moving fast wouldn't mean that you could see beyond the horizon. I think that in the moving frame of reference that time dilation would mean that you would interpret the universe as being younger, and this would compensate for your idea that you should be able to see more.

    What you would actually see as you get close to the light is the light reaching you being concentrated in the forward direction, so that it looks like most of the universe is ahead of you.
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