Physics

How fast is the speed of light?

Flick a light switch and the light comes on instantly. Open your eyes and you can instantly see the world around you – light appears to be almost instantaneous to us on Earth. But what if we expanded our field of view, and rather than trying to see light travel in front of us maybe across a room – how about see it travel between planets?

Well that’s what designer and animator Alphonse Swinehart thought about as well, and has created this amazing video above which illustrates, in real-time, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the sun and travelling across a portion of the solar system.

Alphonse said; “I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.”

And, encase you were wondering – light travels at an astonishing 299,792,458 metres a second

Why does light travel so fast?