When gravity spoils your day!


It all started the other night when I was watching Tom Hanks famous series “From the Earth to the Moon”. In the NASA committee meeting prior to Apollo 7 launch one sentence caught my mind “Why are we talking about 7 days and that too in earth hours. You people have no idea how fast time goes in space”. While time being a relative term for ‘unfolding of events’ or I can say a local benchmark for local events. But things get trickier when dealing with different time scenarios.

To approach this question in a systematic manner I will start with human brain and its interaction with time and gravity. Gravity is the entity that plays with time (or influencing events to unfold) very dearly. Few points to consider when dealing with time dilation. Firstly, human brain, from the birth get acclimatized with basic earth characteristics – earth gravity & earth time. While gravity influences time, it will be much easier to explain that way. Secondly, the velocity of the body when looked from an observer point of view.

Now lets talk about gravity influencing time. As I mentioned before time is a relative term to indicate unfolding of an event. For example, there is an event of walking on a 100 meter ramp inclined at 45 degrees. And Mr. X takes 10 mins (Earth time) to walk up the ramp when placed in Earth scenario (Gravity pulls Mr X down as he struggles to walk up the ramp). If the ramp is placed in space (out of Earth’s gravitational influence Mr. X will take 1 min (Earth time) to walk up, perhaps he can jump or slide across the ramp, since Mr. X is free from gravitational pull. So, ‘Unfolding of events’ happens much faster when gravity is less there by giving an illusion of “Time goes faster in space”.

Q: If time goes faster in space, will human beings die early when in space?

A: Yes, when recording in Earth time & observing from Earth. As I explained before, Human brain has major role to play when we talk about time. When living an entire lifetime in space, human brain will acclimatize with the time setting & zero gravity (or different gravity value). Finally, in local space time setting, human being will live for 80 years achieving same set of goals. BUT, when looking from earth that 80 years will look like 10 earth years. So, Mr X when comes back to earth after 10 earth years will be 80 earth years old & have achieved (E.g building a Pyramid) a lot as compared with normal earth people.

Same effect of time dilation was backed by Einstein’s general relativity theory.

I still don’t have any answers to questions like: How human brain understands gravity? How human brain changes its activity when put in different gravity scenarios? Is my understanding of time illusion is correct?

It will be much appreciated if anyone can share his/her view on this matter. Gravity has successfully spoiled my day, haha!


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