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ChrisARippel t1_iwbz3wb wrote

We are on a spaceship.

The Solar System is traveling at 828,000 km/hr (514,495 mph) through the Milky Way. When you look at night sky the stars you see are the large, close stars less than 5000 light years away.

Do you notice stars whipping past?

Traveling on human-made spaceships would look similar, especially if the ship rotated around its axis to create artificial gravity.


Mondkalb2022 t1_iwbduf3 wrote

At that speed you would reach the moon in about 4 hours, a journey to mars would last at least a 1000 times longer, so not much would visible change.

Even at nearly the speed of light, a jouney through the solar sytem alone would take hours.


failurebeatssuccess t1_iwdsx5u wrote

It would take 3-4 hours, say, to reach Neptune at near light speed - but that would be in time measured on earth. From the perspective of someone actually on the rocket the journey would be near instant due to time dilation effects.


iqisoverrated t1_iwbp6n9 wrote

At 50000mph (a bit over 22km/s) you wouldn't see anything moving. (Well, unless you encountered a micrometeorite at that speed. Then you would probably see something, but it wouldn't be fun).

You really only see anything changing on appreciable timescales once you're very close to your target.

Really visible effects during flight would only happen if you could get close to the speed of light (300000km/s), where light from stars ahead of you would be blue shifted and light from stars behind you would appear red shifted. You'd also get some weird distortion effects in front and behind.

...but if you encounter even a grain of dust at those speeds you're in for a very bad day.


Most-Hawk-4175 t1_iwbei7p wrote

50,000 MPH. No, if you were in deep space everything would look stationary.

Now, if you were traveling close to the speed of light then some bizarre things start to happen with you and everything relative to you.

I'm not sure what you'd actually see. I seem to remember a episode of Carl Sagan that touched on this. Traveling the speed of light would make time speed up drastically for everything around you and you would experience time more slowly relative to everything outside the ship.

I kind of remember Sagan saying you may see a tunnel vision like view with nothing but streaks of light all around you. But that's probably just a complete guess. Or maybe it isn't a guess and there's science behind it. Not sure. Someone more knowledgeable on this needs to answer. But what a site that would be.


barrycarter t1_iwbesmi wrote

We measure the distance to nearby stars using parallax: simplified, we take two points in the Earth's orbit that are 186 million miles apart and see how much a nearby star has shifted against the background of other stars. This amount, while measurable, is very small and not something you'd be able to see with the naked eye.

At 50,000mph, it'd take you about 6 months to get 186 million miles and you wouldn't see even a slight shift in the nearest stars (unless you had a telescope), so no, stars wouldn't whiz by at that speed.

Take heart, though. Thanks to relativity, you can crank up your speed to where you might actually notice changes in stellar angles, both because the galaxy is denser as you travel towards the center and because your "rapidity" (speed compensated for contraction) get quite high. More information:


Ivanka_Gorgonzola t1_iwcyug5 wrote

At interstellar speeds (1-20%c), the front of your ship will have massive shielding against radiation and matter, the back will have massive shielding from the engines with a very long and thin bit in between to live in and large surface area constructions on the side to radiate away heat. Accurate sensor info about whats in front of you becomes a bit tricky due to a bunch of effects from your speed, like for instance the need to sit right next to a bunch of super hot radiators, redshift, increased noise, and hitting something bigger than a ton orso will likely be the end of your ship, no matter how big it is so it's gonna be a thing for gamblers or the religious.


danielravennest t1_iwc9ziv wrote

You think those are stars zipping by on the Enterprise main viewing screen? No. If they were, they would be different brightness and colors.

What they are is comets and other interstellar debris that the main deflector shield has to watch out for and avoid. They are ~10,000 times closer together than stars, so they go zipping by at warp speeds.


FaceFirst23 OP t1_iwcdwtr wrote

Couldn’t care less about Trekkie stuff, but the limited sci-fi stuff I’ve seen often has galaxies and stars flying by. Watched a video on YouTube today about space travel that featured just this phenomena


MarkDavisNotAnother t1_iwcg37y wrote

Based on Hubbles discovery, shouldn’t there be blue shifts and red shifts in star color depending on if getting closer or further away from them?


beerkenz t1_iwdaqfo wrote

Exactly, the same way galaxies at the edge of our observable universe behave...


SpartanJack17 t1_iwipp3p wrote

Hello u/FaceFirst23, your submission "What would space travel look like from the ship’s perspective?" has been removed from r/space because:

  • Such questions should be asked in the "All space questions" thread stickied at the top of the sub.

Please read the rules in the sidebar and check r/space for duplicate submissions before posting. If you have any questions about this removal please message the r/space moderators. Thank you.


Tycho81 t1_iwbja4d wrote

You can see yourself when travelling lightspeed