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Thread: Could we see what the earth used to look like from...

  1. #1 Could we see what the earth used to look like from... 
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    Jul 2010
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    Could we see what the earth used to look like from the light that bounces off the earth into space? I mean if we know the speed of light and our distance from the sun then if we measured its effect on an object out in space that the reflected light would hit; would we be able to measure things like the water level and the contenental shape of the planet? If not currently if we had a greater level of visual technology would that enable us to do so?


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    Since light has a very finite speed, if we could leave Earth in a spaceship which travelled faster than light, by stopping at various distances away from Earth and with a sufficiently large and powerful enough telescope we could see the Earth as it was in the past. At some point we would lose all detail though.

    Within the next decade we expect to see not just Earthlike planets outside our solar system but to be able to detect the gases of their atmospheres which could not only tell us if there is life there but even detect industrial pollution, as in an industrial civilisation there. We can even at present detect water at such distances as well as some of the gases which make up their atmospheres (usually incredibly hot, which helps their detection).


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