If humanity ever got to the point of being able to explore new planets (assuming we could land there), are there any known entities in the universe that are so massive that gravitational time dilation could really become a serious issue? In other words, if the explorers landed on the planet/entity, could it create a potential disaster as their time would slow down so much that the cooresponding operations on earth would have long since expired?

From what I read, most gravitational time dilation effects are minimal, nanoseconds. When/where does it become a real problem? Short of black holes, because of the obvious obstacles surrounding them.

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    $\begingroup$ Short answer: very, very far beyond engineering limits for ultra-high gravity environments. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2014 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Very hard to imagine, since those objects are very far away, and in inhospitable places of the galaxy. The travel time alone would probably prevent meaningful cooperation with the crew. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2014 at 22:42

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You'll need a really big black hole to have any substantial effects. I'm out of my depth on the math but plugging in numbers for an Earth-type planet orbiting at the Roche limit of a 10 billion solar mass star and getting garbage because I don't have the Einsteinian equations.

Getting the sort of time ratios you are talking about would be impossible, though.


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