"The journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun."

Just how long it takes for light to travel within our own solar system


Tue, Sep 8th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Riding Light, you'll spend almost an hour following a photon of light leaving the sun and heading outside the solar system. Despite the fact that you travel 45 million kilometres in the first 2 minutes and 30 seconds, you're still 30 (very long) second from Mercury. Great way to appreciate just how vast things are even for what is the fastest moving particle in the universe.

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. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.



You may also be interested in:

"We're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade."
There Could Be As Many As 100 Habitable Planets Within 30 Light-Years from Earth
“This is a really cool concept, but it’s not clear whether it will make its way off the drawing board.”
A Diamond the Size of Earth, Floating in Space
"Train on Earth for 10 years until they are ready to be shot into space strapped to a rocket, never to return."