Observer looking out through the window of a train

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I'm not convinced brightmagus' answer is completely accurate. The real reason is not "perspective", which simply aligns things in your image, but "field of view" (FOV). You see everything in a particular angle (your eye is at the vertex of the angle), and from basic trigonometry the absolute length of the scene you can take in is a function of the FOV and the distance from your eye. Since you are travelling at a fixed rate of speed, you move past a full scene-width close to the train in far less time than a full scene-width far from the train.
To use his numbers: if you're moving at 10 m/s, then for a FOV which covers 10 m at a distance of, say 100 m away (this is rather narrow), you'll see a whole new scene every second. But looking 1 km out, it'll take approximately 10 seconds to move to a whole new scene.

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Qmechanic
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Qmechanic

Updated on June 27, 2020

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  • Qmechanic
    Qmechanic over 3 years

    When travelling by a train, it seems that the nearby objects move in the opposite direction(which I can explain) but the distant objects appear stationary. I can't explain this. By the concept of relative velocity shouldn't all objects appear to move in opposite direction?