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View Full Version : Orientation in space thoughts/questions...

Leathaface2g
2008-Mar-02, 10:18 AM
These are some thoughts I've had in my mind for a few years now but watching "the Universe" on my computer made me think about it again...

What's up and down in space? Hypothetically speaking, if a rocket took off from the south pole while another took off from the north pole, wouldn't they both be hovering "above" the Earth? So what's down to the Rocket from the north pole would be up to the rocket from the South pole right?

Another thing... If you're taking off from the south pole, how would it ever be possible for the Earth to be above you? I'm thinking that if you flipped your ship to be in an orientation where the roof of your ship faced the Earth you wouldn't feel any difference whatsoever right? And in this case, the Earth would be effectively "above" you correct?

So, if two ships were flying in space, one could be "inverted" while the other wasn't "inverted" but there'd really be no inverted/not inverted anyway right?

Sorry if this sounds a lot like rambling...I'm just looking for some other minds to discuss this with. Thanks :)

loglo
2008-Mar-02, 11:51 AM
Up and down only make sense when they are referenced to something else. In a gravity field like the Earth's we naturally imply without stating it that the something else is the ground or the centre of the Earth.

If two ships were flying past each other "inverted", that would mean their crew's feet were probably pointing in opposite directions, in which case either could claim to be right-side-up.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-03, 06:46 PM
Welcome, Leathaface. Try this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/70398-up-down-spacetime.html) for a discussion of up and down in space.

Leathaface2g
2008-Mar-05, 07:22 AM
Welcome, Leathaface. Try this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/70398-up-down-spacetime.html) for a discussion of up and down in space.

Thanks for directing me to that! I will check that out ASAP. This seems like a great/active forum, I'm glad I found it :dance:

Noclevername
2008-Mar-06, 02:16 AM
You're welcome. Yeah, it's a great place to find out things!

mugaliens
2008-Mar-07, 02:33 PM
These are some thoughts I've had in my mind for a few years now but watching "the Universe" on my computer made me think about it again...

What's up and down in space? Hypothetically speaking, if a rocket took off from the south pole while another took off from the north pole, wouldn't they both be hovering "above" the Earth? So what's down to the Rocket from the north pole would be up to the rocket from the South pole right?

Another thing... If you're taking off from the south pole, how would it ever be possible for the Earth to be above you? I'm thinking that if you flipped your ship to be in an orientation where the roof of your ship faced the Earth you wouldn't feel any difference whatsoever right? And in this case, the Earth would be effectively "above" you correct?

No if, ands, or buts about it - there is no up and down when it comes to outer space.

It's all relative.