Warp telescope II.

My previous version of this question seems to be broken. No loss, really, but I’ll try again:
If we could develop a instrument that would allow us to see a planet at another sun, like this one, in real time,would we be seeing the future?
In other words, what we see on this planet right now is 1987 + 20 = 2007, right? 20 years in the past. So if we see it now, aren’t we seeing the future, 2 decades ahead of time?
Is there some way to delete that other post?

You would still be seeing the past (from your reference point) in that scenario, just not twenty years but whatever time it takes for the light from the planet to travel to one end of the device, through the device (a wormhole?), and out the other end to your eyes.

If we saw it as it is in the present, then we’d see it as it is in the present. However, what exactly constitutes “the present” depends on your frame of reference, specifically on how fast you’re moving. If we’re seeing “the present” in the Earth’s referene frame, then in a reference frame moving from the Earth to that planet, we’d be seeing the past, and in a frame going the other way, towards the Earth, we would indeed be seeing the future. If you trust that dead guy with the wild hair, there’s nothing special about the Earth’s frame, nor any other, so if we could construct such a telescope, we could also construct one to see the Earth’s future, right here. The general consensus is that such a device is impossible, so your “warp telescope” would be, as well.

I fear my vocabulary is not up to my question. :wink:
If I look through this 'scope today and see 2007 at the planet, and I’m supposed to see 1987, am I seeing 20 years into the planet’s future from my POV?
Or am I just seeing less into the past?

You’re postulating magic that violates everything Einstein said must be true about the universe. It’s why you can’t have faster than light transmission of information, and why time travel doesn’t want to work.

Every process is limited by the length of time light would require to get for there to here. Our sun is eight minutes in our past, always. This new planet’s sun is 20.5 years in our past, always.

You can move physically closer, but there will always be some lag, however small.

So you just can’t talk about magic telescopes that see the other sun right now. The vocabulary fails because the concept fails. A magic telescope that would let you see real-time just let’s you see real-time. There’s nothing future about it. But what about the time it takes for the image to reach your eyes? Or the image to get to your magic telescope? How would an image get to your magic telescope? What would it see? How could you focus? How could anything we know about light mean anything with such a magic telescope? There’s no way to talk about it. You’re in fantasyland.

If the sun has gone nova in the past 20 years, we’ll find out about it when the trailing edge of the light sphere makes it to us and not one second earlier. It’s the absolute, rock-bottom, no-getting-around way the universe works.

And yes I know that the equations allow for some weird exceptions. All of them, however, seem to require materials not found in the universe. The universe protects itself from magic telescopes. (I think Hawking called it the Chronoscopic Protection Clause.)

Everything else in the universe lies in our past from our individual reference frames. There is no future.

You are just seeing less into the past. Given the “wormhole waves hands about device” all you are doing is shortening the distance between you and Planet X. Given that there is a universal speed limit of the speed of light, *everything * that you perceive is the state of that thing at some point in the past, depending on the distance from you.

Chronos is talking about a device that is in effect a time machine (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong, I was rubbish at this at uni and am worse now nearly twenty years later), and that really would cause the Universe to disappear in puff of contradictions.

A wormhole may be possible, in theory, given sufficient energy and some materials that we know the properties of but sadly can’t seem to come up with any reason that they should exist.

Thanks all, for the info. I get it now.
I had a more detailed post, but this board seems to keep breaking.
I’m posting before it fails again

Wow! This thread just knocked out the power in my neighborhood for a couple hours.

You have been Warned!

Yeah, but is the cat still alive?

From my reference frame I see it is dead. And from your’s?

Reminds me of a Niven short in which one of two stellar empires involved in a long war decides to rub out the other side by arranging for the plans for a time machine to fall into enemy hands, whereupon Nature will abhor the time machine by causing a disaster to happen to the civilisation that tries to build it.

Unfortunately the genius responsible for this idea has hardly ceased explaining it when Nature deals with the situation even more economically by causing his own sun to go nova. :smiley:

I’m… not sure.

Ah, poor Quifting.

*Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causation Violation * from Larry Niven. One of my old time favourites. Good call.