Images in light years and traveling in light years…

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The Hubble telescope captured an image 230 million light years away. It was an image of two galaxies colliding 230 million years ago.

If I had a space ship that contained FTL technology and traveled 230 million light years into that direction, my understanding is that it would look completely different from the image that was captured by Hubble.

**I guess my question is… how do we get that image from 230 MILLION years ago only just now? My brain wants to view it as a physical photo that flew over here because I just can’t wrap my head around how an old image could reach us.**

** FYI: I read through [this ELI5 thread on light years](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/2igdlf/eli5how_light_years_work/) and I still don’t really get it. Maybe I’m just stupid :/

In: Physics

7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Throw a rock in a pond. Ripples radiate out from the point the rock hit the water.

When the first ripple hits you, you see a representation of what the water looked like when the ripple first left the starting point. Jump straight to the source and you see the water actually looks quite different. So much time has passed it may not even be making ripples anymore.

We look at an image of a star 100,000 light years away. Then we hop on a ship with FTL. When we arrive at the star we may instead find a black hole or a supernova or a white dwarf, indicating the star died.

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