|College of Science Physics Dept Tatsu Takeuchi Special Relativity Practice Problems|
The Enterprise and the Supernova
A star is about to go supernova (that is, explode) and a planet orbiting it must be evacuated. The starship Enterprise is sent to the planet to pick up some Virginia Tech biology major students on a field trip to observe the local flora and fauna.
The trajectories of the Enterprise, the star, and the planet are shown on the space-time diagram. Assume that the planet is not moving relative to the star. The Enterprise will fly by at a constant velocity past the planet and beam up the students without stopping.
The star goes supernova at space-time point S. The light from the supernova spreads out in both directions along the trajectories shown.Answer the following questions: