Horizons science – perceiving time in space

It often seems like the weekend is over in a heartbeat, while a working week can last forever. ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst explains how he is working with researchers to understand factors influencing time perception on board the International Space Station to help us up in space and on Earth.

As part of the Time experiment, Alexander wears a headset to block out any external visual cues and performs a series of computer prompted tasks designed to test his time perception. These include reproducing the length of a given event, estimating the amount of time elapsed, reacting to stimuli and judging the length of a minute. These results are compared to tests conducted on ground, as researchers gain a clearer picture of how and why perception is affected.

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