posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 05:13 AM
What could cause light to slow down? Our atmosphere is mainly composed of nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. 3/4 of this mix is within 11
kilometres of Earth's surface, so if the gases were to cause this effect, no doubt it would be at it's most severe at ground level.
Wave your hand in front of your face. Is there a delay?
Standing on the ground, you experience the pressure of 29.92 inHg, which rapidly decreases until at 65,600 feet ASL there is only 1.61 inHg. As the
figures say, the amount of gases rapidly reduces the higher you go.
The other gases that make up the atmosphere are neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, xenon, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, iodine,
carbon monoxide and ammonia. The properties of all these gases are well known, and none have the effect of slowing light down.
Our magnetosphere, a shield that protects us from solar flares and wind bursts, is composed of free ions and electrons held in place by magnetic and
electrical forces. Now a lot less is known about this. IF something were to slow light down, this would probably be it.
But the magnetosphere does not start and end at equal vertical distances from the Earth's core. It is more bullet shaped, with the Earth at the tip
of the bullet. So if we were to observe anything through it, and it had the effects of slowing light down, then we would probably be viewing something
- for example - 200 years ago, which would jump forward to only 100 years ago as we stop viewing it through the thick 'tail' of the magnetosphere.
Now surely astronomers would notice discrepancies such as these, as mathematical models they made on orbits and positions would appear to become false
when they view the object through a different part of the magnetosphere with a different thickness.
Also, I have been referring to light as if this is the only thing that exists.
Light makes up but a tiny fraction of what we know as the electromagnetic spectrum. Below visible light's frequency are such things as x-rays
and ultraviolet light, while above is infrared, microwave and the frequencies TV and radio signals work on. The chance that the atmosphere would
only block frequencies in the range of 360 to 800 nm (what even the most acute human eye can detect) would be very low indeed.
Radio telescopes regularly work in conjunction with visible light telescopes, and together they plot out orbits and locations. If the atmosphere was
only to block out visible light, then there would be a very large gap between where a star appears to be, and where the radio astronomer actually
determines it to be. Nothing like this has been recorded, as far as I know. And once again, presuming the magnetosphere is causing this, there would
be very large fluctuations over given periods of time.
So ignoring the fluctuation factor, the atmosphere would have to block light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation at the same rate for
signals to match up and not raise flags. So how did Americans hear Sputnik over the radio in 1957? I'm sure that mankind did not have the
technology to send up an artificial satellite 'decades if not hundreds of years' ago. And we are still recieving signals from the Voyager
space craft, which are well beyond the effects pf Earth's magnetosphere.