When you gaze up at the stars you are looking across such vast distances that you start to travel back in time. Even though light travels at 186,000 miles per second, the stars are so far away that the light you see has travelled for years across space before it reaches your eye.

Astronomers use the distance light travels in one year (6 million million miles, if you can get your head round that) as a unit of measure and talk of stars being so many light-years from us.

Alpha Centauri is 4 light-years away from earth. It is astonishing to think that in 1998 a beam of light left Alpha Centauri and has travelled at 186,000 miles a second ever since and is only now arriving at earth. When you look at Alpha Centauri you are not seeing the star as it is now but as it would have looked 4 years ago.

Time is the fourth dimension. We can travel in both directions in the other three dimensions, so why not in the fourth? By jumping from star to star you can travel back in time. Below is a list of 10 bright stars and a list of events that were happening in Britain and around the world when the beams of light left these stars.

SIRIUS - In 1991 the Gulf war is fought, the poll tax is scrapped and the best team in London wins the league.

ALTAIR - In 1983 Ronald Reagan accuses Russia of being an evil empire. U.S invades Grenada and the film Gandhi picks up 8 oscars.

VEGA - In 1975 The Vietnam war ends, Margaret Thatcher becomes leader of the Conservative party and Bruce Springsteen has chart success with Born To Run.

ARCTURUS - In 1964 Britain and France agree to build the Channel tunnel, the Beatles have hits with She Loves You and A Hard Day's Night and Radio Caroline begins transmission. The author of this web site is born.

ALDEBARAN- In 1932 The nazi party become the largest party in Germany and Piccadilly Circus is lit by electricity for the first time.

REGULUS - In 1915 The first world war rages on, the Lusitania is sunk and John Buchan writes The 39 Steps.

BETELGEUX- In 1690 The city of Calcutta is formed by the East India Company and after the Battle of Beachy Head England fears a French invasion.

ANTARES - In 1670 Sir Christopher Wren starts to rebuild London's churches after the Great fire of London. The colonies of North and South Carolina are founded.

RIGEL - In 1100 William II of England is killed in a hunting accident in the New Forest. Henry I succeeds him amid speculation that it was no accident.

REGULUS - In 200 AD Clodius Albinus withdraws Roman forces from Britain in an attempt to become emperor. Food shortages lead to rioting in Rome.

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