Time dilation if we were to colonize outside our solar system?

I understand a little about special and general relativity. But how would another planet work. A star is a gravity well so it wont be exactly synced. Voyager probes depending on special or general is only a few seconds time difference to terrestrial clocks. So would it be the same in the gravity well to a star similar to ours?

Would a colony be able to communicate with earth in their same time frame with a difference of a few minutes to hours to days?

Or is it... everyone will be dead when you get back situation?

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  • 6 months ago

    The question your asking doesn't have so much to do with relativity, in so much as keeping in mind that solar systems in the same galaxy are light-years apart. Think of a star as being more or less synonymous with a solar system. Not all stars are part of a solar system necessarily, but all solar systems have a star at their core. Entire galaxies account for several million light years in width.

    The closest star to our sun is Alpha Centuri, which is about 4.3 light years away. (meaning that it would take 4.3 years at the speed of light to transverse the distance between the two.) That essentially means that in terms of communication, it would take 100 years to have an inter-solar system communication, IF that communication travels at the speed of light - and thats BEFORE we get to the issues of space-time continuum.

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  • 6 months ago

    Time dilation due to gravity of a star or planet is negligible. Just microseconds difference per century. But it would take many years for a message to get to another star and years for a reply to reach earth.

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  • 6 months ago

    Earth time would not mean a damn thing to a colony on a planet of a distant star, since there could not be simultaneous communications with Earth, and the transmission delay might be years.

    Clocks keeping a similar rate as Earth clocks would be of no use to them, their entire time system would be linked to the local conditions, such as planetary rotation, year length, axial inclination and so on (including any relativistic effects), and the clocks would similarly be synchronized with those parameters.

    Of course, there would be a conversion factor which would enable a period of Earth-time to be expressed as a period of planet-time, but it is hard to imagine what the purpose might be. The time-systems of the two planetary systems will be completely self-contained, and not really comparable in any meaningful way.

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  • 6 months ago

    Time slows a *bit* on Earth, due to our proximity of our Sun, but it's not very much. The same would be true of any planet in the 'Goldilocks' zone of a star. Getting *to* that star (with present technology) can't be done in a lifetime; or even several lifetimes... And, communicating with that far-off colony is going to take signals *years* to travel to, and the same number of years to get an answer from that colony. (Again, using today's technology.)

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  • 6 months ago

    The rate-of-time difference for the Voyager 1 is only 1.87 seconds in over 37 years. That is the same as only 0.050 seconds per year. Only the most picky scientist would care about such a small difference.

    As for a probe around another star: we are also going close around a star. There's no relative time dilation when you send a signal from one gravity well to another gravity well of the same strength. (There are some second-order effects, but those are a million times smaller than 0.050 seconds per year.)

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  • 6 months ago

    The amount of difference a sun-like star could make would be insignificant. Even a neutron star isn't that influential.

    • neb
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      Actually, time dilation at the surface of a neutron star is pretty significant ....

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    First, unless you are talking about Interstellar type situations the gravity well of a star would have little effect on the time of the lifeforms of an orbiting planet.

    Second, as you are talking about a minimum of four light years to send a message across, you are talking about Snail Mail speeds for communication. Any difference in time generated by the relative size of a star is insignificant when viewed against he time a message would take to cross interstellar space.

    Problems would be greater when communicating with the moon.

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  • 6 months ago

    the time rate difference would be less than a second per day.

    but communication with someone on another star takes many years round trip.

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