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View Full Version : Relativistic Effects of Man-Made Probes



WorseAstronomer
2006-Jan-19, 09:06 PM
So the New Horizons Probe is supposedly the fastest thing NASA has launched. Eventually reaching roughly 47,000 mph I read. My quick math means that it will be travelling at 0.00007c.

I'm guessing that the relativistic effects of time/distance are too negligible at that velocity for the engineers to take into account?

If so, is there a speed at which the technicians/engineers would start factoring in relativistic effects for a probe?

Thanks!

alainprice
2006-Jan-19, 09:31 PM
If 0.00007c is the fastest speed it will reach(relative to earth I suppose), then Newton is still right to beyond 99.99999975%.

It all depends on the accuracy that you need.

tony873004
2006-Jan-20, 03:45 AM
If so, is there a speed at which the technicians/engineers would start factoring in relativistic effects for a probe?

Thanks!
They'll factor it in even if the probe did 1 mph. It's just a few lines of code and then the computer does all the work.

WorseAstronomer
2006-Jan-20, 05:20 PM
Interesting.

I guess that makes good, common sense.

(Though, so does switching to metric measurements, so I didn't just initally assume they ALWAYS did the common sense thing.;))

Thanks for the info!