Would light from the Sun still reach Earth if there was a hypothetical event that shut off the Sun? The time taken by light to travel from the Sun to the Earth is 8 minutes.

Couldn't a catastrophe in the Sun affect the Earth before that 8 minutes or affect the light that had been emitted, such that the light didn't reach the Earth or the Earth no longer existed as we know it?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you think would happen? What would cause the photons to stop moving? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 3 '15 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos I always consider the electromagnetic wave form for understanding of light. If the source of energy of the Electromagnetic wave is shut, what does it take to propagate the energy when there is no source. Can you clarify? $\endgroup$ – user73787 Apr 3 '15 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @user73787: The wave contains the energy itself. Once emitted, a wave will continue to propagate until absorbed or otherwise. $\endgroup$ – Vatsal Manot Apr 3 '15 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @user73787: But if the source emits the light and then shuts off, why would the previously generated light simply stop? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 3 '15 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried to rescue this question by expanding on what (I think) the OP is confused about. It now involves e.g. relativity. $\endgroup$ – innisfree Apr 3 '15 at 19:37

The light emitted before the shut off of the sun will definitely reach the earth and it will take 8 minutes. Which means, you will not know for 8 minutes that the sun had stopped producing light.


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