News Stories

Telescope Time Machine

An international team of astronomers has detected one of the earliest clusters of galaxies ever identified, located about 12.5 billion light years from Earth. Because light from such distant objects takes so long to reach earth, our telescopes act as time machines, catching this cluster in the act of formation when the universe was only 1 billion years old.

Astronomer Grant Wilson says, "Clusters, which are some of the biggest structures in the universe, are relatively rare. If galaxies spread through the universe are like towns dotting the Earth, fully grown clusters would be like the biggest cities." He compares this discovery to peering at the first houses on Manhattan Island, destined to be among the most populous places on the planet. Astronomers are essentially looking back in time at the early days of an object which someday will be one of the most massive in the universe.

What WE want to know is: Are they visiting us? (And if they are, what will our response be?--and how will it change our lives?)

So a form of life could have been evolving out there for 10 billion years and we, just now, found out about the existence of their galaxy? What will human technology be in 5 billion years?

I have the feeling we'd be able to present ourselves as anything we wanted others to see. And they would never have a clue about what we really were. And the only clues they ever got would be completely controlled by us. If we didn't want them to know our real nature, they never would. If we wanted to confuse them, it would be easy. If we wanted to be their gods, that would be easy. If we wanted to control how and what they thought, that would be easy.

Let's hope we become a moral species. And let's hope that any species 5 billion years older than us has become moral.

If it's true that there is a species 5 billion years older than us and they've visited us then whatever we think could be 100% controlled by them. If they're jerks like us, we're in deep trouble.

We can only hope there is something better than us.

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