If we could view into the past?"

5fish

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"Should we if we could?" I ask you all...

Decades ago I read a SiFi story I think by Arther C. Clark..In the story, a man had invented a way to look back in time like watching a TV or movie. The person watching could not interact with the past just watch what had happened years, decades, century, or millennium ago.

I ask you- If we had this technology should we use it to watch our heroes and battles of the Civil War. At first, I bet most everyone would say "YES" but there may be a high price to pay. You might find out that Grant was a bigger drunk then history has told us. Lee may not be that nobleman of character he is known to be. Forrest may truly be the devil on earth. Jackson may be crazier then history has hinted at. The price may be our loss of the myth and mystery of the Civil war but will gain the truth..

Is it a fair trade giving up myths and unknowns we ponder for knowing the absolute truth...

In Arther C, Clark's story all but one of the world's great religions lost their following because with this the ability to view the past the founders of the world's religions were revealed to be just imperfect mortal humans like us...

I ask "Should we view our civil war hero's if we could view into the past?"
 

rittmeister

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if we had that technology there would be far more interesting stuff to watch - think the hubble teledscope's time writ large.
 

diane

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The idea of peering into the past is always an intriguing one. Myself, there's so much completely lost history it would be very tempting! Perhaps you change it by merely being able to do that, not interfering or anything at all - how would you be sure you're really seeing what transpired in the past accurately? Western thought puts a definitive wall around things, as if it were all this or that, but things are way more fluid. In fact, the linguist I'm working with is trying to get out of my head what I mean when I say 'everything' because it sure isn't what he means!
 

5fish

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I like to add some Physics to this thought... https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/11940/if-you-view-the-earth-from-far-enough-away-can-you-observe-its-past

If you view the Earth from far enough away can you observe its past?

From my understanding of light, you are always looking into the past based on how much time it takes the light to reach you from what you are observing.
For example when you see a star burn out, if the star was 5 light years away then the star actually burnt out 5 years ago.
So I am 27 years old, if I was 27 light years away from Earth and had a telescope strong enough to view Earth, could I theoretically view myself being born?

Yes, you can. And you do not even need to leave the Earth to do it.

You are always viewing things in the past, just as you are always hearing things in the past. If you see someone do something, who is 30 meters away, you are seeing what happened (30m)/(3×108m/s)=0.1μs(30m)/(3×108m/s)=0.1μs in the past.

If you had a mirror on the moon (about 238K miles away), you could see about 2.5 seconds into earth's past. If that mirror was on Pluto, you could see about 13.4 hours into Earth's past.


I do know if any of this is totally correct but maybe someone does....
 

5fish

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Now I am going to bring some Dinos... https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/02/07/why-looking-at-the-stars-is-a-look-back-in-time/#2295ec4814ec

Which brings me to galaxy NGC 4845. It is located 65 million light years away, meaning that we are seeing it as it was 65 million years ago, right around the time the T. rex went extinct. The finite speed of light has the exact same effect in the other direction: If there are intelligent aliens in this galaxy, when they look at the Milky Way, they are seeing our galaxy as it was at the time of the dinosaurs. In principle, they could see our planet as it was at that time, too.

But, one huge caveat. Seeing the Milky Way as it was at the time of the dinosaurs is not the same as actually being able to see individual dinosaurs! Using current technology, astronomers cannot resolve any details on even the biggest planets orbiting the nearest stars. Dinosaurs are much much smaller than a whole planet, and NGC 4845 is millions of times farther away.

Bottom line: Yes, astronomers in another galaxy could see our region of space as it was at the time or the dinosaurs. No, they could not see actual dinosaurs unless they have technology that is utterly beyond human comprehension.
 

diane

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Well, there you go 5fish! That's why physics is the back door to metaphysics.
 

Wehrkraftzersetzer

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I like to add some Physics to this thought... https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/11940/if-you-view-the-earth-from-far-enough-away-can-you-observe-its-past

If you view the Earth from far enough away can you observe its past?

From my understanding of light, you are always looking into the past based on how much time it takes the light to reach you from what you are observing.
For example when you see a star burn out, if the star was 5 light years away then the star actually burnt out 5 years ago.
So I am 27 years old, if I was 27 light years away from Earth and had a telescope strong enough to view Earth, could I theoretically view myself being born?

Yes, you can. And you do not even need to leave the Earth to do it.

You are always viewing things in the past, just as you are always hearing things in the past. If you see someone do something, who is 30 meters away, you are seeing what happened (30m)/(3×108m/s)=0.1μs(30m)/(3×108m/s)=0.1μs in the past.

If you had a mirror on the moon (about 238K miles away), you could see about 2.5 seconds into earth's past. If that mirror was on Pluto, you could see about 13.4 hours into Earth's past.


I do know if any of this is totally correct but maybe someone does....
No, You might hear /see radio & television
 
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