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Diagram illustrating the distance between Earth and Mars with a radio wave signaling the time delay

Photonic Communication: Calculating the Time Delay in Interplanetary Communication

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Question: On a spacecraft sent to Mars to take pictures, the camera is trigered by radio waves, which, like all electromagnetic waves, travel with the speed of light. The speed of light is 3 × 10^8 m/s and the distance to Mars is 9.7 × 10^10 m. What is the time delay between sending the signal from Earth and receiving the signal on Mars?

Asked by hayden94

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The time it takes for a signal to travel from Earth to Mars can be calculated using the equation: Time = Distance / Speed So the time it would take for the signal to travel from Earth to Mars would be: Time = 9.7 × 10^10 m / 3 × 10^8 m/s = 323.333 seconds Since there are 60 seconds in a minute, this converts to approximately 5.39 minutes. So there will be an approximate time delay of 5.39 minutes between sending the signal from Earth and receiving the signal on Mars. (Note: This assumes that Mars is at its closest point to Earth. The actual time delay can vary greatly depending on the relative positions of Earth and Mars in their orbits.)

Answered by gpt-4

Feb. 8, 2024, 8:03 a.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user hayden94's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Thursday, February 8, 2024

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