# If you were 2 million light years away in space looking at the earth with a telescope what would you see?

Relevance
• jhstha
Lv 4

I am writing this because lots of you people who already answered obviously have no clue.

First of all 2 million lightyears is no distance at all, that is just the distance to our neighboring galaxy Andromeda ... and, by the way, also the average distance between two galaxies within a group or a pile.

And of course we have telescopes (even optical ones) that can "look" that far. The best example is hubble !!

With hubble (that is an optical telescope, too) we managed to look more than 9 billion lightyears "deep" into the universe. Now, please compare 2 million to 9 billion ... so you see, 2 million lightyears is just nothing.

On that distance, we can, of course, gain images clear enough to discover the sun ... and even the earth if it happens to be in the right position to the sun. (We already discovered planets of the size of Jupiter in other galaxies)

Now, if we had an even higher resolution (is yet to be developped, already in progress), then we would look straight back into a time, mankind just began to evolve (2 million years ago). Think of the distance, it is 2 million lightyears, so what we see, is 2 million years old. We would not recognize the nowadays continents due to the drift they had managed. We would see it all as it was 2 million years ago.

That's it, as simple as that.

Since information travels on a carrier wave, and in the case of your question, that carrier wave would be the wavelengths of visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum and those waves move at c in a vacuum, then you would see information that left earth 2 million years ago. So, if you could resolve details, you would see earth as it was before we humans staerted wandering around and mucking the place up.

As you look out across space, you are looking back through time.

No telescope of any type that we have right now could even come close to seeing Earth from 2-million light years away. It would be too small, too dim, and completely hidden by the brightness of other stars along the line of sight.

If you're interested, this website has a photo taken from one of the Voyager spacecraft of Earth from 4-billion miles away ==>http://solarviews.com/cap/misc/vgr_fam1.htm

I'm sure a couple of people have answered to your satisfaction already, but I can't rap my mind around the question unless I ask a couple of my own. Are we suddenly just two million light years away? Or did we travel two million light years away from earth and then hopped out of the ship and looked back? If we just are two million light years away then we'd be looking back at ancient earth, but if we traveled two million light years from earth; wouldn't we be looking back on earth from the time we left it? Because if your traveling at light speed your time traveling. Right? When we look at star light in the sky we are looking back in time. Does it work both ways? *goes crossed the ever unfolding questions* I really like your question.

To put it simply, what you would see is the Milkyway Galaxy as it was 2 million years ago. You would most likely not see the sun (at least not using present technology) as it is a relatively dim star, and certianly would not see the earth. If you could spot the sun, you might be able to detect the earth based on the sun's behavior, but most likely any affect on the sun would be attributed to Jupiter.

The Earth as it appeared 2 Million years ago.

Source(s): {<^*~*^>}VAPORCARB{<^*~*^>}
• ?
Lv 7

I don't believe your telescope can resolve any detail in this solar system from 2 million light yars out.