Sunday, April 15, 2007

Round Trip Light Time

Posted by Kirk
Round trip light time is the amount of time it takes an electromagnetic signal to go to a spacecraft and back. While looking at the web page of the voyager mission I noticed that the round trip light time for the first voyager probe launched September 5, 1977 is 28 hours, 15 minutes, 56 seconds. It is currently 9,483,000,000 miles from earth. Half of this (roughly the one way time) is about 14 hours 7 minutes.

Traveling at the speed of light it would still take over 14 hours to get to where Voyager is and it is still within our solar system! The voyager spacecraft travels about 1 million miles each day which is quite fast. It boggles the mind to realize how vast just our solar system is let along the entire universe. Voyager is currently the furthest human-made object from Earth. Very soon it will pass into the heliopause and will officially be out of our solar system.

Nerds will celebrate.