If the sun disappeared, would we still see the image of the sun for 8 minutes?

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Ok so this might sound like a dumb question but I read it takes 8 minutes for light to reach earth and if the sun disappeared or went dark, we would have roughly 8 minutes of light before it got dark. Would the image of the sun still be there also or would we just have light for 8 minutes without a visible source?

In: Planetary Science

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yes, the light it emitted at the moment of disappearing would still be on the way.

Incidentally, gravity also travels at the speed of light, so we wouldn’t notice anything amiss until suddenly the light stopped.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Absolutely. If a wizard snapped his fingers right now and vanished the sun at 3:52 PM (my time), we’d still see the image of the sun until 4PM or so.

It doesn’t matter what happened to the source – that light has left, and it’s on the way to our eyeballs. By the time we see Pluto through a telescope, it’s moved about 5 hours away from that spot, by the same token. There might be visible stars in the night sky that have already gone supernova and exploded into dust, but we won’t find out for thousands of years, when the last light from that intact star reaches earth, and the light from the supernova starts to arrive for us to observe.

Anonymous 0 Comments


Because of the speed of light if the Sun were to suddenly disappear it would take 8 minutes for us to notice.

Another thing people often don’t realize is that the speed of light is also the speed of causality. If the Sun were to disappear Earth would be flung off into space because of the loss of the Suns gravity, and that too would take 8 minutes to happen.