There’s a thing I don’t understand. Well there are a lot of those, but one in particular. I saw a re-run on Nova last night of a 2010 episode about telescopes and the universe. (As usual I was multitasking at the time, so I probably missed some technical information.)
They showed us one of the giant telescopes, this one in Arizona; the narrator said dramatically that they open the eight-story doors while we saw the doors opening. We saw lots of images via that telescope and the Hubble and others, while various people explained that they can see to the very edge of the universe.
That’s what I don’t understand. Eight stories tall, that’s all very well, but it doesn’t amount to much when stacked up next to the universe. Hundreds of billions of galaxies, you know, each with hundreds of billions of stars, all howevermany light years apart. Eight stories, one story, sixteen stories – what difference does it make?
I don’t understand how we can make a telescope that can see these distances. That’s all. I accept the brute fact, because I’m obedient that way, but I can’t get my head around it.
It’s fascinating though. Humans, eh?