Time Travel

A casual glance towards the night sky is really a trip through time! At a speed of 300,000 kilometers per second the light from stars in our night sky takes tens, hundreds and even thousands of years to reach us. The faint glow of the neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy is visible to the unaided eye, it's presence revealed by the long-distance athletes of the photon world whose journey to us began over 2 million years ago, when humankind was still an insignificant branch of a newly planted evolutionary tree.

As a messenger from the past, starlight does not tell us the current status of it's source. The "home" star may have long since dimmed to celestial flotsam having expended all it's nuclear fuel, or it may have seeded our galaxy with the essential elements created in the brilliant flash of a Super Nova explosion. Photon messengers carrying news of these historical events may be speeding towards us even now, but their story will only be told to some future sentinel. Even the light from our own Sun comes to us from eight minutes in the past, revealing how it "was" and not how it "is"

Scientists study the messages of time-traveling-light-photons in hopes of deciphering the essential mysteries of our being. Strangely, rather than pigeon-holing newly discovered facts into well constructed theories, their earnest pursuit more often than not brings forth wondrous new questions that humble us all. In 1998 scientists gazed across a vast gulf of time to a period some seven billion years ago and learned that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating as the universe gets older, an amazing and totally unpredicted discovery. For now we explain this acceleration as the result of an action exerted by a force called "Dark Energy", of which we know nothing except that it makes up 73% of the "stuff" in our Universe. You don't have to be a scientist or even a sleep deprived amateur enthusiast to appreciate the wonderful adventure that is our quest through time for astronomical knowledge!

Every clear night offers opportunities for time travel to the upward gaze of an open mind ~ exploring our heritage in the stars.