JoePloppy
JoePloppy
Joined: May 2, 2014
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May 9th, 2014 at 4:45:34 AM permalink
Do we forget time is relative? This astronaut is "motionless" in space. Since time is directly related to how fast you are moving, If we observed the flag moving from earth, it may take 50,000 years.
To the astronaut it would be a lot slower since he is literally motionless. What takes 50,000 years to pass on earth would be like 5 million years to the astronaut.
2/3
BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
Joined: Jul 9, 2010
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May 9th, 2014 at 4:51:59 AM permalink
Quote: JoePloppy

Do we forget time is relative? This astronaut is "motionless" in space. Since time is directly related to how fast you are moving, If we observed the flag moving from earth, it may take 50,000 years.
To the astronaut it would be a lot slower since he is literally motionless. What takes 50,000 years to pass on earth would be like 5 million years to the astronaut.

As you point out, time ir relative. I would assume the time measurement asked for in the problem is relative to the astronaut, and the related time span on Earth or anywhere else in the universe is immaterial. I did point out in a previous post that if the flag motion is relative to the astronaut's observance then you would have to add a year to the time the flag itself actually moves.
“You don’t bring a bone saw to a negotiation.” - Robert Jordan, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Jeepster
Jeepster
Joined: Jul 7, 2013
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May 23rd, 2014 at 1:54:52 AM permalink
The question seems somewhat flawed as the astronaut is said to be motionless, surely an impossible state.
He is moving relative to something even if it's a travelling Martian space ship a trillion billion miles away.
At best he can be at rest relative to the pole, which also cannot be motionless.
A photon without any luggage checks into a hotel, he's travelling light.

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