We never see stars in Realtime, the night sky is just an image of past

The beautiful stars you adore when you have a nice walkout in the night, aren’t real, or at-least you don’t see them in real-time. Humans are so limited, limited to the speed of light. What you see is not what actually exists. Well, this is a weird and hard fact to accept, but absolutely true to the core. Let’s move into the explanation


Why stars we see aren’t what they are right now?

The fastest matter in the whole universe in LIGHT. But, that doesn’t mean, it has an infinite speed, the speed is limited to 300,000 kilometers per second (186,000 miles per second), with this speed, light can travel 1 meter in 3.3 nano seconds.

The Sun is 149,600,000 km away from us, and the light it emits reaches our eyes only after 8.3 minutes, so that means, the sun you see right now is just an image of it some 8 minutes back.  If crossing 150 million kilometer takes 8 minutes then just imagine the stars that are tens and thousands of light years away. One light year means the distance covered by light in one complete earth year.

Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is about 100,000 light years across. Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 100,000 years to fly from one side to the other.

The nearest large galaxy beyond our Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy, about 2 million light-years distant, so this means, if you are seeing the Andromeda Galaxy through a telescope, that’s the image of it as it was some 2 million years ago. The furthest galaxies we see are several billion light-years from us

The nearest star to sun is the Proxima Centauri, some 4.243 light years away, the other stars are still farther, so this should answer the question, can we see stars in real-time? and probably the answer is NO, you cant’.

Just take a look at the Nearest stars

Also read the below articles

1. Convert your PC into 3D Planetarium, simulate your local night sky

2. You can see the International Space Station right now, without any telescope


Proxima Centauri is some 4.243 light years away


The Orion Nebula, 1,500 light years from Earth

Abilash A

I am a Web and Graphic designer, specializing in designing and hosting websites, blogs and forums. I love technology and blogging is my passion. I also specialize in blogger to WordPress migration. Currently I work Full-Time as a Quality Control and Testing Engineer.