Yesterday was Albert Einstein’s birthday. He gave us a new way of looking at the Universe, and at our place within it. Relativity proposes quite a few interesting concepts.
One of my favorites is the idea that there is no “Ground level” in the Universe. You feel like you’re standing on solid ground, but the Earth is really orbiting the Sun. The Sun orbits the center of our Galaxy. The Milky Way orbits other galaxies in the Local Group. No matter where you stand, that spot is orbiting something else. That’s why time is relative, not linear. Large gravity wells like stars and planets can distort time so it passes more slowly or quickly. if I teleport out into space 24 light-hours it’s still Albert’s birthday at the same time it’s 24 hours later here. That continuous bubble of time is moving away from every point in the Universe at the same time. Alpha Centauri has a whole different time warp coming from it. We see it as it was 4 years ago, just as they would see us as we were 4 years ago. In Alpha Centauri, Bush is just got re-elected.