## Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

If a star is 20,000 light-years from us, we agree that light takes 20,000 years to get to us. From our viewpoint, an astronaut traveling close to c would take just over 20,000 years to travel there. However, from the traveling astronaut's frame of refer­ence, the distance is contracted. If she travels sufficiently close to the speed of light, say, such that the $\gamma$ factor is 20,000, the distance to her will appear to be much shorter: short enough to cover in 1 year of her time. Earthlings would see her clock as moving at a snail's pace: 20,000 times slower than our clocks. This may happen in a far distant future.