How do you define time? Like Space, it existed before everything. It is the fabric of the universe. It started when the universe first formed and will continue to the end of Creation. Relative to us it is incomprehensible.
We only have determined how to measure time from our Earthly perspective. Based on the duration of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun, divided into years and seasons, and the rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun, divided into intervals of day and night, hours, minutes, and seconds; our measurement of time is based on our measurement of light from the Sun. And our measurement of other distances, including the stars, is also relative to the speed of light.
Whether it’s referred to in terms of the speed of light, time travel, the space-time continuum, or the light-year; there is nothing more relative to the human perspective than the concept of light speed. The time and distances represented by these terms are only touched on in “Like Ants on the Bottom of the Abyss,” (see http://www.drukell.com), but it is a subject that deserves some question, doubt, and even a little ranting.
For the casual observer, the light-year seems like a short distance; physicists have minimized it to a limit that appears to be more easily achieved. The use of the term, light-year, may be nothing more than a “pipe dream,” fashioned by physicists to make us believe it’s a short distance, or that traveling at light speed, as presented by the headline below, “…’just’ 40 light years away,” is or ever will be possible, either for us, or for the insect-like creatures that live on far-away planets.
The speed of light is approximately 671 million miles per hour “in a vacuum.” Lest we forget that 40 light-years is the time it takes for light to travel about 240 trillion miles; it would take us at least 70,000 years to reach that distance at the fastest speed we hope to ever attain, which is only a fraction of light speed. This 70,000 years is about nine times Earth’s oldest civilization; nine “Whole Earth” generations. Think of how much humans have evolved during those first 7,000 years, and multiply that times ten; at least.
Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light; at least within the confines of space and time, and physical constraints, that we know of. Light travels only at the speeds we are aware of below a constant. The other wave forms of the electromagnetic spectrum, for example X-rays, also travel at light speed. Travel at light speed would still be necessary to conquer Space.
On top of that, suppose Space, like the Earth and atmosphere, is layered, transitioning through areas of changing pressures and temperatures, or gravitational fields and electromagnetic fields. Light is refracted in air, water, and glass, because it is slowed down. In water, the speed of light is reduced by about 25%. Perhaps it is the opposite in Space; transitioning through changing layers of lower pressures and temperatures, the speed of light may increase. That would mean that the distances we measure to the stars are only average distances, and the star systems and galaxies are farther than our estimates.
Here’s the headline referred to above: