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Impossible distances

I love looking at the stars and trying to image what might be happening on all those worlds out there. The Hubble telescope team have made some mind blowing discoveries about the universe that we live in, none more so than the galaxies discovered in a pin-point of dark space.

In the new Abandoned Wives and Widows Club novel to be released next month, Lydia and Gloria go star gazing and learn about the distances involved in this part of the universe.

‘One light year is about 9.5 trillion kilometres,’ Ken said.

‘Sorry,’ too much for my brain. ‘I can’t imagine that amount of space.’

He’d finished with the telescope and came to sit with us and drink his cocoa. ‘Then don’t start thinking about what the Hubble found over a ten year period – thousands of galaxies billions of light years away, some about 13 billion light years from us.’

We quietly stared out to space for a few seconds then Gloria said, ‘So the light they picked up had been travelling towards us for 13 billion years.’

‘Correct,’ he said as he put his mug in a plastic bag, then collected ours, before putting the lot into the sports bag.

‘How old is the Earth?’ I asked.

‘About 4.5 billion years.’

‘And the milky way?’ Gloria asked.

‘13.5 billion years.’

‘So,’ I said, ‘the light from those galaxies started out at the same time as our galaxy was forming? And 9 billion years before the Earth formed.’


My brain was swirling in a mass of facts and the impossible distances of both time and space. I lay back to contemplate the Universe.

An excerpt from 'Life After Death', number 3 in the Abandoned Wives and Widows series, available next month from:-

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