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Re: That's Just Splitting Hairs

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Posted by Jim on December 21, 2000 18:32:22 UTC

Everything we "see" is just a perception of light. Sure, we're not literally projected back in time when we look at the Andromeda Galaxy, but the light reaching us does provide information about the conditions of the Andromeda Galaxy 2 million years ago. Therefore, the visual we receive does indicate how it looked in the past. Thus, in a sense, we are seeing the past. If we were magically transported there in an instant, then it would appear different than the visual back on Earth. But that's irrelevant since nothing can travel faster than light.

One point I can take from your message is if there was somekind of interference in between the two points that modified the light we receive (thereby giving us a false image of the past conditions). Dust that blocks or absorbs and reemits light at a lower frequency for example. Or on a more cosmological scale, the gravitational lensing of distant galaxies that created false images (Einstein crosses).

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