Watch: Video Takes You Through Our Solar System at the Speed of Light

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 - 2:44PM
Space Imagery
Solar System
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 - 2:44PM
Watch: Video Takes You Through Our Solar System at the Speed of Light

We usually use the phrase "speed of light" as a euphemism for "really really fast," but when you're talking about our vast solar system, it seems remarkably slow. In this new video, animator Alphonse Swinehart takes the viewer through our solar system at the speed of light in real time, and it takes a whopping 45 minutes:

 

Riding Light from Alphonse Swinehart on Vimeo.

 

The video is intended to represent a photon's journey through the solar system, but from a human perspective, as though you were riding a beam of light all the way to Jupiter. In order to keep the video to under an hour, Swinehart stops it right after the photon gets to Jupiter, while Saturn is still half an hour away.

 

"I've taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually 'sees' or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I've kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible."

 

The video is long, but worth watching, if only to see the Sun gradually go from this:

 

Solar System

[Credit: Alphonse Swinehart]

 

To this:

 

Solar System

[Credit: Alphonse Swinehart]

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Space
Space Imagery
Solar System