The "Breakthrough Starshot" aims at sending near-speed-of-light cameras to nearby stellar systems in the future. Due to the relativistic effects, a trans-relativistic camera naturally serves as a spectrograph, a lens, and a wide-field camera. We demonstrate this through a simulation of the optical-band image of the nearby galaxy M51 in the rest frame of the trans-relativistic camera. We suggest that observing celestial objects using a trans-relativistic camera may allow one to study the astronomical objects in a special way, and to perform unique tests on the principles of special relativity. We outline several examples that trans-relativistic cameras may make important contributions to astrophysics and suggest that the Breakthrough Starshot cameras may be launched in any direction to serve as a unique astronomical observatory.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1708.03002