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Series of animations show just how fast the speed of light actually is

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In a perfectly empty vacuum, a particle of light can travel 186,282 miles per second or about 670.6 million mph - it can complete a full orbit around the Earth 7.5 times in a second.

What is the speed of light really? NASA scientist creates amazing animations that show how light "slowly" travels through the vastness of space

  • A series of animations shows how the speed of light travels through space.
  • It can reach 670 mph and orbit the earth 7.54 times per second
  • However, the animations also reveal that the speed slows down as it progresses.
  • It takes light to travel from Earth to Mars 28 minutes 12 seconds

A NASA scientist has released a series of amazing animations, showing how slow the speed of light can be.

In a perfectly empty vacuum, a particle of light can travel 186,282 miles per second or about 670.6 million mph – it can complete a full orbit around the Earth 7.5 times in a second.

While this may seem instantaneous on Earth compared to the vastness of space, it is frustratingly slow – especially when scientists rely on it to communicate with other planets.

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In a perfectly empty vacuum, a particle of light can travel 186,282 miles per second or about 670.6 million mph – it can complete a full orbit around the Earth 7.5 times in a second.

The video, created by NASA scientist James O'Donoghue, begins with an animation of a beam of light orbiting the earth.

Viewers can see the partial of light, or photon, rapidly spinning around our planet as it completes 7.5 orbits per second, as reported. Business insider.

In the second animation, the clip shows a visual of the speed of light between the earth and the moon in real time.

The distance is 238,885 miles from the planet to the moon, taking the photon at 1,255 seconds to complete the surface-to-surface path and 2.51 seconds for a round trip.

The distance is 238,885 miles from the planet to the moon, taking the photon at 1,255 seconds to complete the surface-to-surface path and 2.51 seconds for a round trip.

The distance is 238,885 miles from our planet to our astronomical orbital body, taking the photon at 1,255 seconds to complete the surface-to-surface path and 2.51 seconds for a round trip.

However, NASA noted that our moon is slowly moving away from Earth, moving about an inch from its father each year – so the time for the speed of light between the two will continue to change.

CAN SPEED OF LIGHT BE STOPPED?

A team of scientists from the Israeli Institute of Technology and the Brazilian Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics found that the speed of light can be manipulated to stop.

To do this, they set two different light modes to combine in one mode, or "coalesce".

When two modes of light merge, they reach what is called an "exceptional spot".

At an exceptional point, the speed of light comes to a halt.

The research could help scientists with other "slow light applications" such as telecommunications.

Previously, the only way to control the speed of light was to release a swarm of ultracold sodium atoms. or attach it to photonic crystal wave guides.

O'Donoghue's third light-speed animation brings to life NASA's frustrations in contacting and collecting information from InSight on Mars.

When the US space agency tries to communicate or download details of the red planet from the spacecraft, it can only be done at the speed of light.

And as the previous animation revealed, the speed of light becomes much slower as we travel farther.

To do everything in "live mode", scientists must strategically plan what is needed and the exact location they need to probe to not miss the mark.

The total distance between Earth and Mars is about 158 ​​million kilometers and it takes 28 minutes and 12 seconds to complete a round trip, according to the third animation in the series.

However, there is an event that happens every two years when the planets are closer, making the distance only 33.9 million miles.

During this time, the time decreases to three minutes and two seconds for one-way travel, and six minutes and four seconds for a round trip, which is the example that O'Donoghue uses in animation.

And the more scientists travel into deep space, the longer it takes.

Looking at Proxima b, which is about 4.2 light years from Earth, it would take at least 13,211 years for a solar probe traveling at lightning speed to reach the exoplanet.

There is an event that takes place every two years when the planets are positioned closer, making the distance only 33.9 million miles. During this time, the time decreases to three minutes and two seconds.

There is an event that happens every two years where the planets are positioned closer, making the distance only 33.9 million miles. During this time, the time decreases to three minutes and two seconds.

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