Question is fairly self explanatory.

From relativity, we hear that the Earth distorts spacetime making the time pass slower near it in respect to an observer in outer space. My question is, if the observer and the Earth are both stationary in respect to one another, does time still pass slower near Earth? Or this phenomenon only occurs if there is motion between these two objects?


It really does occur even when they are stationary as described by General Relativity.

If they have relative motion the effects of time dilation due to Special Relativity must also be applied.

  • $\begingroup$ Cool, I guess I thought it couldn’t happen thinking only about special relativity. Must study more general relativity then! $\endgroup$ – Roberto Valente Oct 24 '17 at 23:33

As JMLCarter said but I have to add that you won't notice. Time will 'flow' at the same rate for you but the others outside of this system of reference will notice.

For example: Time for you on a massive planet will flow identical like on Earth but the only thing you'll notice is that time flows different for people on Earth and not for you. This also goes vice-versa. For people on Earth time flows identical but they will notice that time flows different for people on another planet.

In other words, if you're part of the "system", you won't notice the time dilatation only if you take as reference objects outside of the "system".


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