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I think I got it. Lengths will contract, but when you're moving toward something very quickly, the speed of light remaining constant, it will seem farther away. And the reverse is true when you're moving away from it.

It actually helps to just forget about relativity for a moment, and think about the angles light from distant objects will have to take to intercept you. Then it becomes more clear.

Yes, exactly. Your eye intercepts photons from a wider angle the faster you're moving, therefore you get a wider field of view, even seeing things behind you.

I'm not sure I'm missing a step going from "wider fov" to "things seem farther away", maybe I am...

We don't have some magic sensor that tells us how far away an object is -- it's all gleaned from the light, and distorting the angles, in particular, will throw off this perception of distance.

It would be nice to see a write up of exactly what effects they considered, though.

Right, very true, thank you.

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