US Navy Captain and a veteran astronaut Scott Kelly was 6 seconds younger than his twin brother Mark before the latest space mission. But now the age gap between them has increased thanks to the time Scott spent in the orbit.
It is a tough concept to crack, but it can be understood by Einstein’s revolutionary theory of relativity.
The groundbreaking theory and the data collected from the corresponding experiments suggest that time dilates, or moves more slowly for objects in motion than it does for a stationary object or person. The second part of the theory also suggests that time also moves more slowly if you are closer to a gravitational mass like Earth.
So to put it in simple words, our experience of time and the rate of its passing is not the same!
Because astronaut Scott Kelly was accelerating and moving faster than his twin brother while orbiting around the planet – at around 28,200 km/h (17,500 mph) to be precise – Mark theoretically has lived whole extra five milliseconds more than Scott.
This particular case of time dilation check marks both the concept of relative speeds and the relative proximity to a gravitational mass; thus making it so interesting for the world of science.
The video below addresses another conundrum related to this concept, which is known as the Twin Paradox. It explains why if a person on Earth and a person on a rocket leaving into outer-space for some period would consider time to be passing more slowly; as each would feel that the other person is performing the relative movement.
The video gives an example of a rocket flying out and then returning to Earth, explaining why the rotation of time due to the turning back of the rocket solves the paradox, as well as the factors of acceleration and deceleration affecting the traveller.
These are not mere theories and also been proved via solid scientific experiments like flying atomic clocks above Earth’s surface on planes, and recording the difference in the logged times caused by the difference in speeds.
This makes the experiments on the twins so fascinating, and these two can be used to assess all the ways space travel and time dilation affects a human body. And although Mark has aged a few milliseconds more, but in the long run, it is possible that he could be younger looking and healthier than Scott due to the accelerated deterioration of Scott’s body in the space.
What are your thoughts about this fascinating concept?
Let us know in the comments’ section below!