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# If a spaceships travelled faster than light speed, can a picture be taken?

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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 03:42 AM
When you take a picture of anything which is emitting light directly, you would get a lens flare and normally be able to see the streaks of light from the source.
So I was wondering - If spaceships could travel faster than light speed (lets just assume advanced aliens have access to this technology), what would the image look like if a telescope were just concentrated on a patch of space at the same time the spaceship flies by?
Lets assume that the telescope used here is the Hubble Telescope and its been concentrating on a patch of space without us knowing that a spaceship travelling faster than light flies by.
edit on 7-6-2011 by CasiusIgnoranze because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:23 AM

Does this spaceship have it's head and taillights on?

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 04:26 AM
If it was travelling faster than light then it would be highly unlikely to ever show up in photography,

Travelling at the speed of light however, if an object (large enough to deflect light)were to pass through the camera's focal point at the exact moment the camera took the picture, then yes you should see something in the image.
However the shutter on the camera would have to shut at light speed or the object would have flown past before the image could be captured

It is a scenario that relies on some very precise variables, however theoretically it would be possible, but beyond light speed would not be

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:05 AM

Quote: "If a spaceships travelled faster than light speed, can a picture be taken?"

Yes, if travelling faster than the speed of light,
a picture can be taken.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:10 AM

how you figure? the light streak by things emitting light?

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:15 AM
yes. a picture can be taken. If you are traveling at the speed of light, your surrounding appear to be still. in fact time has stopped. If you were to take a photo whilst traveling at this speed, it would turn out fine.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:20 AM
Imagine that you have two spaceships traveling besides each other at the speed of light.
One ship wants to take a picture of the other ship.

Then think. For the image to be created the light must first travel from the other spaceship into the camera.
But since the light which the camera needs to receive is traveling 90 degrees apposite the direction both space ships are traveling, and at the same speed as both ships. The light will pass behind the camera. The camera will never receive the light needed to create the image.

edit on 27.06.08 by spy66 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:22 AM

Originally posted by HomerinNC

how you figure? the light streak by things emitting light?

You could still 'take' a picture...

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 08:01 AM

Originally posted by metaldave
You could still 'take' a picture...
It's highly speculative since there are no models for a massive object going the speed of light or faster, other than alcubierre's warp drive, and that might not let you photograph anything outside the warp bubble. You could only photograph things inside the warp bubble if i understand his theory correctly.

Also, let's say a ship traveled faster than light away from a flashlight. If the light is turned on at the same time as the ship leaves the flashlight, the ship will be traveling too fast for the light to catch it, so you couldn't photograph light like that in the receding direction.

But all that is sci-fi. there is some interesting science fact, however.

As you approach the speed of light, things start looking really weird and distorted. For example, this lattice at sublight speed:

Will look like this if you travel near the speed of light:

The Lorentz contraction and Optical aberration
This causes object to appear squashed in the direction of motion and deformed in unusual ways. When we look at an object moving at high speeds, the fact that the speed of light is finite becomes important. Light from points on the object that are further away take longer to reach the viewer. We therefore would see the object warped in some way because the light rays we see will have started their journey at different times. The lattice therefore becomes..(see image)...Weird!

At that link, there's a free software program called "warp simulator" you can download to see how traveling near light speed would distort things you would see. There are other effects like the Doppler shift, the headlight effect, that are discussed and shown at that link, so read up there if you're interested.
edit on 7-6-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 09:44 AM
When light speed travel comes up I like to use the ideas in this short video to help wrap my head around things.

posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 12:48 PM
Heres the thing. A camera takes pictures, by exposing either film or a photosensitive component, to photons, which impact the component, or film and by way of either a chemical reaction in the case of film, or a digital response to photonic stimulus, the picture is produced. Now, if something is traveling faster than the light that is bouncing off it, then it stands to reason that producing an image of it would have to be a serious undertaking.
I can see two possibilities. here. One, the vehicle is traveling TOO fast to be struck by photons, and therefore will not reflect any light during its superluminal travel. Two, the photons will strike the vehicle, but will bounce off at unusual angles, or possibly drop off the track altogether, and become visible again in a location just behind the target vehicle. Any of that would make taking an image a bitch.

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