It’s simple yet incredible how amazing it is to look up during a dark starry night and allow your mind to grasp the vast existence of the universe. As I stepped out of our home, located on the outskirts of San Pedro De Atacama, I was pleasantly surprised that the moon had not yet risen to wipe out the view of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this short period, I took the opportunity to admire the stars and accept the fact that not only was I so small in size in a universe so grand but that my time alive in conscious state was so short in comparison to infinite time of the universe.
For over a decade I had a desire to go to Chile for it’s “astro-tourism” appeal. Ever since I read a book which stated that the Atacama Region of Chile had some of the clearest skies on the planet, thus making is a perfect location for stargazing by tourist and professional astronomers using world class technology and advancement in telescopes.
During our desert night tour and stargazing adventure, our telescope may have been weak but our host more than made up for that with his strong knowledge and more importantly, passion for the subject he was teaching us. One of the fact that hit my friends and I the hardest was one about a star which was 500 light years away. Our guide Alex said that even though we are seeing the light from this star, due to the distance between us, this star could have died hundred of years ago and the light is just now reaching us. This is a fact that many people know but my friend Dion said something that really blew our minds away and I’m sure if he asked this question to the guide, he himself would go into deep thought. .
Dion said “well if we are just now seeing this light that was emitted 500 years ago, could it be possible that someone, somewhere in the universe is seeing earth now after hundreds of years of our “light” in motion, what would they see?” He further went on to questions that “if they were watching us through a very strong telescope, and it took hundred of years for this “light” to reach us, could it be possible that they are just now seeing Christoper Columbus sail across the Atlantic Ocean and if so… what does that say about life”.
It took a moment for me to register this statement from my friend but, once understood, it was an exciting subject to further ponder upon.