I was thinking about time travel the other day. I think I was watching a time travel movie, and wondered why nobody ever brought this up.
When you travel through time, in a time machine...you are simply speeding up time in one location or reversing time, in the same location. In the time machine stories I've read, and the time travel movies I've seen, the time traveler moves through time, but not through space.
Here is the problem with that.
We are not stationary in space.
If you just take the Earth's rotation, moving forward in time a minute, you would end up 16.666 miles from where you started. Why? Because the Earth rotates about 1,000 miles an hour. If you went through time an hour, you would end up 1,000 miles away from where you started.
But that isn't your big problem. The big problem is that the Earth moves through space very quickly. In fact, the Earth is revolving around our sun at about 67,000 miles an hour.
So, if you traveled in time more than a second, you would end up either in the Earth's core...or in space. But it gets worse.
The Sun isn't sitting still either. The Sun is spinning though our galaxy at about 490,000 miles an hour. It's orbit isn't exact. And of course, our galaxy is traveling through space at a very leisurely (for a galaxy) 1,000 miles a second. So, in a very real way, the Earth will never occupy the same space twice. Ever.
It's not that you are moving. You are staying in exactly the same place. But literally everything is moving away from you at a pretty fast clip. You would not be able to travel through time at all, and stay on the surface of the Earth.
There is one consolation prize though. If you actually intended to travel to the specific planet that would be right here, in 1,000 years...you could take a time machine 1,000 years into the future..and Viola! you would be there. But you'd never be a able to get back.
In this example, I assumed that the time machine doesn't also travel in space at the precise speed and direction it needs to go, to always maintain your exact position on Earth. But I suppose that's as likely as time travel itself. I was using the time travel of fiction. And in all the stories I've read, the time traveler stays where they left. At least the science fiction stories. The romance novels where it's all a dream, don't count. (at least not to me)
I know...I know.....hyper drive this....String theory that...parallel universes the other thing....But I thought I would mention the whole "We'll never be in the same place again...ever" thing.
Oh, while I'm at it, if you could turn invisible, you would be blind. If light passes through you, or moves around you, your retinas wouldn't collect light. You would be blind. Not that much fun.
Anyway, I'm just trying to waste time until FARGO is on.
Added a tad later;
If someone mentions that space itself is expanding, that's very true. But these are the speeds and movements inside the space, as it expands. The space itself is moving at an additional speed, than the speeds I mentioned. No idea how fast that is. But that speed wouldn't affect the motions I was talking about.