Light Time/Life Time


“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”  ― Helen Keller

Did you know that light takes a long, long, long time to move from the center of the sun to us?  It actually takes thousands of years.

I know, that doesn’t sound right, does it?  After all, the sun is only 92.96 million miles away and the light only takes 8 minutes to reach earth.  But, that period of time is only after the light has worked its way out of the sun.

The center of the sun is incredibly dense or “opaque”—there are so many atoms packed together, it’s almost as dense as a rock.  So when hydrogen changes to helium and generates the energy in a photon, that photon will bump into an atom without having travelled far.  Then that energy is re-emitted from that atom and this goes on randomly for thousands of years until finally, the photon energy reaches the surface of the sun and 8 minutes later we see the light.

We are like that first photon, touching others, energy being absorbed, converted, emitted again, touching another, being absorbed, transformed, passed on.  Our great, great, great, great, great, great (ad infinitum) grandmother is in us.  And so are all that shared with her.

There is something comforting in this thought.  We don’t know the where or the when–the path is random.  All we know is that when the journey reaches the end, a bright light will shine wondrously.

“O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” ― Roman Payne


Light Time/Life Time was written by Dr Kathleen Hoffman.

Kathleen is a writer and social media marketing professional with research education and experience. She has a PhD in Communications with Masters in Public Health and a second Masters TV and Film. For over two years, she has been co-host of a weekly tweet chat #hchlitss.   Most importantly, Kathleen is the mother of a wonderful son.

A recent transplant to New England, she explores her experiences with lobstah, snow and chocolate, blogging at Health Communication, Health Literacy and Social SciencesHealth Communication and Health Advocacy and at Medivizor.

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