Sometimes I like to simply sit still and try not to move – to look up into space and ponder the stars.
Light travels really quickly. As a youngster, I discovered, while standing at the edge of a lake, that I could see a man splitting maple for his winter fire, about a half-mile distant on the opposite shore, swing a sledgehammer, and a short time later hear the hammer hit the steel wedge he used to split a maple log. Even at that distance, the disparity between the speed of light and the speed of sound was easily measurable, though at my then young age it was merely a curiosity.
I look “up” into the night sky and look at light reflected from stars so far away some of them have not existed for millions, maybe billions, of years.
When I was considerably younger, I would swim out in the middle of the lake at midnight or thereabouts, lie on my back in the water, and float there, nearly weightless, looking up at light from so far away some of it had been reflected from stars that had not existed for longer than humans have walked on this planet.
Stars are interesting. Our sun is a star. They are responsible for all the elements that comprise everything else, including us. Continue reading →