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Voyager, special relativity and the twin paradox


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Let's assume we separated two twins back in 1977 and one of them was taken on a long Voyager journey.

The probe turned back after 17 yrs and just arrived back.

I was wondering what the age difference there would be between them?

Are we talking minutes, hours or maybe even days already :)

I'm sure this has been calculated somewhere...

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I seem to remember the three astronauts that first set foot on the moon came back three mins younger (or was it 3 mins older) - coulda been seconds actually lol.

Anyway - it's a good place to start your research :)

Edited by brantuk
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My calculation, assuming that Voyager 1 travelled at a constant velocity of 62,762 km/hour (its approximate present velocity) for the whole journey, which it didn't, and using the method at:

Time Dilation,

I get an age difference of just over 5 hours.

Of course, I stand to be corrected!

Edited by Tomjo59
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Having thought about it there's yet another paradox hidden here.

It shows that the straight worldline (of the twin on the Earth) is longer [time wise] than the curved one (with a massive distance), on which the second twin travels in the probe :)

Would this stand or I'm making a wrong assumption here?

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You may want to see how much difference gravitational time dilation makes as well :)

(and if you are feeling really clever, account for any gravitational assists along the way)

Edited by Theinvoker
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