Why do stars appear where they do in the sky?

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Geert Goessaert

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Why do stars appear where they do in the sky?
« on: 12/01/2009 08:47:04 »
Geert Goessaert asked the Naked Scientists:
Hello,

This is a science question (I love the Naked Scientists Science Radio Show, by the way).

Here's something I can't get my mind around.

When you look into space with a telescope, you're looking in the past.

We see our own sun as it was eight minutes ago, since its light, travelling at 300,000 kms/sec, takes 8 minutes to reach our eye.

10 million years ago our sun was at a different place in space. We might calculate fairly easy where that was.

So how come we don't see our own sun when we point our telescope to that place 10 million years ago?

Here's hoping you answer my question!

Kind greetings,
Geert from Brussels, Belgium.

What do you think?

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Offline LeeE

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Why do stars appear where they do in the sky?
« Reply #1 on: 12/01/2009 09:45:39 »
It's because our Sun didn't move from that place, to where it is now, faster than the speed of light.  By the time that the Sun got to where it is today, the light from where it was had long since passed this place and continued on it's way.  It's no different to you walking across a room and turning around to find that you can't see yourself where you were a few seconds earlier.
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