by

Riding Light on Vimeo

This made the rounds last week, but I’m just now sharing it here. If you haven’t seen it, this video helps you visualize the vast distances of space by giving you a “photon’s eye view” of light traveling away from the sun.

In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.

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. ~ Riding Light on Vimeo

Leave a Reply