[13 things that don’t make sense _ michael brooks] épilogue

Tonight , though , I am lying on a hilltop and staring at the stars.
Immediately , behind me in an Iron Age monument , the undulating peaks and troughs of an ancient fort. Its ditches and mounds were built seven hundred years before the birth of Christ .Just below me , invisible in the dark , is a relative newcomer to the landscape , a white horse that was carved into the chalk at the orders of Alfred the Great. N one is quite sure when that was done – probably a thousand years ago . My view upward affords me yet another historical sight : in between the creation of the fort and the creation of the white horse came the creation of the light streaming out from the belt of Orion .Though it is only now hitting my eye , the three stars that make up Orion’s belt blasted out this light around fifteen hundred years ago . It has been travelling ever since . When Alfred ordred the horse craving – as a celebration of his victory over the danes – tha light was still 6.000 trillion miles aways.
It’s nice to be able to put a figure on it ; it is a privilege to live in an era when we know how fast light travels. In fact , we are , privileged just to know that it doesn’t travel instantaneously across the univers. we take such knowledge for granted , but we shouldn’t ; it was hard won
[13 things that don’t make sense _ michael brooks]


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