In the case of a non-accelerating point charge "A" of stable velocity, its static field is treated as though it is instantaneously present at a distance, i.e. a second point charge "B" will react to the field as though it is centered on the ACTUAL location of charge A.
This is true of gravity as well, as the planets do not appear to be attracted to the retarded position of the Sun but instead the actual position, as the Sun is moving through space at a constant velocity.
Now, if my point charge "A" is accelerated, then it makes sense (and is experimentally verified) that the EM radiation given off by the accelerating charge will propagate at the speed of c. So far so good. My question is this:
If photons are the messenger particles of the EM force, and my point charge "B" feels the effect of charge "A"'s static field and responds as though that field is centered on the actual position of charge "A", presumably this effect is still being mediated by virtual photons, which cannot exceed 'c' - so how is this explained?
For clarification, when we look at the Sun we SEE it as it was roughly 8 minutes ago due to the time delay of light traveling at c to reach us, so we SEE its retarded position, however our orbit is centered on its ACTUAL position. Talking about electric fields is just easier for me, but the effect is the same - how is this possible if messenger particles must obey the c speed limit?