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Astronomically Accurate Speed Limits

“Gee officer, I’m sure I was only going 563,580 mph”
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Cosmological awareness would increase by posting and following more exact space speed limits. Someone driving east at 88 km/h (55 mph) in Ecuador would also be traveling 1,642 km/h more due to the earth’s rotation, 108,000 km/h more due to its speeding around the sun and 792,000 km/h more as the sun whips around the center of the Milky Way (unless our galaxy is standing still and the rest of the universe is spinning, instead!). The expansion of the universe shouldn’t be included until more exact values for our speed in relation to a common point exist.

If the car, earth’s spin, its orbit and galaxy rotation all have the same direction, one could add together the velocities and say that the driver is really moving at 901,730 km/h (563,581 mph). When the car and earth move in a direction exactly opposite that of the sun, the speed would be only 682,270 km/h. Thus the speed limit would have to vary depending on the time of day and date. Also traffic going the other way would often have a different speed limit and the allowable speed would vary as the road turns (other compass headings).

This scheme entails constant stellar speed updates to signs and vehicles. More numerous, variable display, speed limit signs would have to be much wider, as well as police radar displays and speeding ticket pads. Speedometers and odometers would take up the width of the dashboard, but all this would be offset by knowing one’s correct velocity in the universe and having a great gas mileage.

FarmerJohn, Mar 24 2004

http://www.nerdie.com/speedlimit.html [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       According to the theory of relativity, you can claim to be doing whatever speed you want, depending on your frame of reference. You can't measure your "correct velocity in the universe".
kropotkin, Mar 24 2004

       Excuse my universal ebullience as my examples were galaxy-centric.
FarmerJohn, Mar 24 2004

       where is your point of reference again ?
SystemAdmin, Mar 24 2004

       Everybody lives on a street in a city
Or a village or a town for what it's worth.
And they're all inside a country which is part of a continent
That sits upon a planet known as Earth.
And the Earth is a ball full of oceans and some mountains
Which is out there spinning silently in space.
And living on that Earth are the plants and the animals
And also the entire human race.

       It's a great big universe
And we're all really puny
We're just tiny little specks
About the size of Mickey Rooney.
It's big and black and inky
And we are small and dinky
It's a big universe and we're not.

       And we're part of a vast interplanetary system
Stretching seven hundred billion miles long.
With nine planets and a sun; we think the Earth's the only one
That has life on it, although we could be wrong.
Across the interstellar voids are a billion asteroids
Including meteors and Halley's Comet too.
And there's over fifty moons floating out there like balloons
In a panoramic trillion-mile view.

       And still it's all a speck amid a hundred billion stars
In a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
It's sixty thousand trillion miles from one end to the other
And still that's just a fraction of the way.
'Cause there's a hundred billion galaxies that stretch across the sky
Filled with constellations, planets, moons and stars.
And still the universe extends to a place that never ends
Which is maybe just inside a little jar!

       It's a great big universe
And we're all really puny
We're just tiny little specks
About the size of Mickey Rooney.
Though we don't know how it got here
We're an important part here
It's a big universe and it's ours!

       -Yakko Warner
ato_de, Mar 24 2004

       [SystemAdmin] The supposed central black hole of "a galaxy we call the Milky Way".
FarmerJohn, Mar 24 2004

       And the computer for your cruise control would be the size of a small suitcase.
GenYus, Mar 24 2004

       Similarly: North pole - left turn only?
Ling, Mar 24 2004

       This would put a lot of additional requirements onto my Traffic Column Motion Capture Device
theircompetitor, Mar 24 2004

       " Tell it to the judge....."
normzone, Mar 24 2004

       [GenYus] 20 years ago the computer for your cruise control would have been the size of a small apartment block.
suctionpad, Mar 24 2004

       I keep thinking this should be "Astronomically Precise Speed Limits," as in:   

       Speed Limit = 50.0000000000 ± 0.0000000003 mph   

       Then the cop would pull you over and say, "Do you know how fast you were going? No? Well I clocked you at 49.9999999996 miles per hour. That's one ten-billionth of a mile per hour too slow. I'm going to write you a citation with a fine for $75.1098123498712389."
AO, Mar 25 2004

       There's a hole in the center of the Galaxy... There's a hole in the center of the Galaxy... There's a hole... There's a hole.....
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2004


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