Did you know that when you capture a natural light photo, it took those photons about 8.3 minutes to travel from the Sun to your camera? Light feels like it travels quickly for us here on Earth — so quickly that when we take a picture on our planet, it basically captures things the moment they happen. But in the vast distances of space, it can take light quite a bit of time to get from one place to another.
Art director Alphonse Swinehart created the 45-minute video above showing, in real-time, the journey a photon takes when it leaves the surface of the Sun and begins traveling out of our solar system. When Earth is reached at around 8 minutes and 20 seconds, that’s the trip countless photons took before they ended up in our photos.