# Length contraction in special relativity causes an object to appear rotated in space?

I'm reading a set of notes on special relativity and this statement was made at the end of the section on length contraction:

"This phenomenon is known as the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction. It is not the consequence of some force ‘squeezing’ the rod, but it is a real physical phenomenon with observable physical effects. Note however that someone who actually looks at this rod as it passes by will not see a shorter rod. If the time that is required for the light from each point on the rod to reach the observer’s eye is taken into account, the overall effect is that of making the rod appear as if it is rotated in space."

I understand that this is looking at a special case where we are physically observing an object as opposed to talking about mathematically what is happening but why would we observe the rod to be "rotated in space"? And along which axis would it appear rotated?

• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrell_rotation Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 14:51
• Ah good to put a name to it, thank you. Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 14:53