When I look up in the night skies and into our universe every structure, every sense of logic and reasoning is shattered for me. We live our life based on time. We wake up at a certain time each day, we have meetings scheduled throughout the day, we plan for vacations and business trips ... everything is time-based. Last night was a clear night and even in the city the night sky was filled with stars. As I'm mesmerized by these stars I realize, it's possible that a star I am looking at could no longer exist. When I look into the skies I am actually looking into the past .... in the heavens any sense of past, present, future is set aside.
From The Little India site:
When we look at the sun, in fact we are seeing the sun as it existed 8 minutes ago - the time light takes (at a speed of 186,000 miles per second) to travel the 93 million miles between sun and earth. Even if the sun disappears in a cosmic event, we will continue to see the non-existing sun for 8 minutes! We perceive the past of the sun as our present sun....
So how far can we see? The puzzling answer is around 13 billion light years. Our best telescopes can see a few million years after the origin of the universe. But we cannot see anything before the point when light emerged out of the baby universe. Asking the question "how far can we see" is actually the same as inquiring, "how far back in time can we see?" The expanding universe imposes a limit on our view and so we will not see anything beyond 13 billion years ago. And when we see it, unfortunately it will not be there any more! In the Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, "All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?"
Looking up into the heavens reminds me of how all I have is the present moment. There is no past, there is no future. It is helping me to not worry about the lump that is growing in my breast.
If you missed the crescent moon and Venus last night, you have another opportunity tonight ... and tonight there's an added bonus of catching the double star Zubenelgenubi. Check out the Earth Sky site for more info.