Unbelievable simulation shows how fast the speed of light actually is
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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Airplane Mode
A simulation has shown just how fast the speed of light travels - and it will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that it’s pretty darn fast.
But first things first, here’s a quick explainer on the speed of light - the speed of light is the speed at which light travels in a vacuum and it's widely accepted as 186,282.4 miles per second (299,792,458 meters per second). So very fast, in other words.
You can see how fast here:
In fact, it’s so fast that it can be kind of difficult to wrap your head around, can’t it?
Which is where the very helpful YouTube channel Airplane Mode’s handy video comes in - because they managed to show exactly what that would look like if you were to somehow manage to board a plane that traveled at light speed.
In the clip, the camera scrolls over the Earth taking in various scenes as it asks viewers to try and estimate how fast the speed of light would look.
It then shows us - and to be honest, it’s not even long enough to be classed as a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment, because the whole thing is done and dusted in 0.13 seconds or - to put it another way - just eight frames.
So, something traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum around Earth would complete around 7.5 orbits per second at the Earth's surface. That's a pretty astonishing fact. But what's even more astounding is the commonly known fact that it takes light eight minutes to reach Earth from the Sun. My head hurts a bit.
The clip has left viewers blown away, with one person commenting: “That’s crazy I looked up in the sky when you did it and I saw the little light beam! It was cool to see it was very quick!”
Another said: “This helps to grasp the scale of the universe. It’s truly astonishing.” You can say that again.
While a third wrote: “When you take this into consideration. It really is crazy to think it takes approx 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach Earth. Space truly is uncomprehendingly massive.”
And, of course, because it’s YouTube where people can’t be serious for a single minute - another viewer joked: "As always, hats off to the camera man who managed to run around the earth in 0.13 seconds."