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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why our universe is already history - Space.com - MSNBC.com

Why our universe is already history - Space.com - MSNBC.com: "'Because light takes time to get here from there, the farther away 'there' is, the further in the past light left there, and so we see all objects at some time in the past,' explains Floyd Stecker of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md."

I simultaneously love articles like this ... and hate them. Because it's so mind-bending to realize we're not seeing the moon in real time--we're seeing a moon 1.2 seconds ago. And because the theory of relativity makes my head feel as if it's going to explode.

But even that's a good thing--to stretch one's brain farther than it seems it really should go. To think about lookin at a star, and you're looking 8 billion years (or so) into the past. Because suddenly "the infinite now" has a new meaning--indeed, it suddenly has some meaning--and all times seems a circle and all distance seems relative and me on the earth feels very, very small. And large.

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