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Friday, January 18, 2013

Freaky Friday

Is it possible for you to see into the past with the naked eye without even trying?

Not only is it possible but it most likely happens to you every single day and night.

If you have ever gazed at the stars, you are not seeing them as they are at that given moment in time. Instead, you are seeing what they looked like from a few minutes ago to millions of years ago, depending on their location in the universe.

The sun is the closest star to us and it takes 8.3 minutes for its light to travel to us. So every time you glance at the sun, you are seeing what it looked like 8.3 minutes before you looked at it - you are, in a sense, gazing back through time.

The next closest star to us is Proxima Centauri. Its light takes 4.3 years to reach us. So when we see that star tonight, on January 18, 2013, we are actually seeing what it looked like around October 2008.

Since our galaxy is 100,000 light years across, light from other stars can take tens of thousands of years to reach us. Those stars outside our galaxy can take billions of years to reach us. We could actually be looking at a light that existed while dinosaurs roamed the earth.

So tonight when you gaze up at the stars, you are actually seeing into the past.

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