Kaleidoscope

Adventures in space... and time.

The myriad stars


Chapter One

Have you ever stood outside on a clear, starry night and looked up in awe at the heavens? The universe… the myriad stars scattered across the darkling sky. And have you ever thought that it looks vast. Really, really vast! Extraordinarily immense, absolutely humungous! Too massive to comprehend.

Big… I suppose…. is the point I’m trying to make. Look at that universe out there, it is just really, really BIG!

Well… it isn’t.

The universe is actually very, very small.

Tiny.

Hi. My name is Jack Brewster, Doctor Jack Brewster, Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy. The year is 2025, and, at last, on February 20th, there’s a new President in the White House. He’s only been there a few weeks and already, the last few years of post-truth, alt-facts and, let’s face it... downright lies have all been swept away. A new era of skeptical irony and plain speaking has been inaugurated. We all have our freedom of speech again and we can say what we feel in our heart without any fear of retribution. You won’t be arrested anymore because of something your spellchecker added in when you weren’t looking.

I am the great (times 6) grandson of Sir David Brewster, Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor and writer. Dubbed ‘The Father of of Experimental Optics’ my great (x6) relative invented, amongst other things, binoculars and the kaleidoscope. In 1840 he constructed the first portable 3D viewing device.

I have attempted to continue and expand his work in the field of 3D optics and it was during my own stereoscopic light experiments that I discovered the truth about the size of the universe. To explain this properly I should really go back to the trigger event that led me to question the size of the universe and to suspect that we had all been lied to for years… for centuries.

It all began back on December13, 2024 when the radio transmissions from the robotic deep space probe Voyager 1 stopped abruptly.

Voyager was 180 AU (2.693e+10 kilometres) distant from the sun in the outer boundary of the heliosphere, at the unknown outer limits of our solar system. At first, it was assumed that Voyagers RTG’s (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators) had failed but then the Lovell radio telescope discovered that Voyager was still reflecting their signal from exactly the place where the transmission had stopped. Even more baffling… this reflected position remained exactly the same for two weeks.

Which made no sense.

How could a spacecraft travelling at 17 kilometres per second be stopped dead in its tracks. The Astronomy Society had no explanation and it took several weeks for a certain Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy… yours truly… to investigate and come up with the outrageous suggestion that perhaps Voyager had hit something out there at the edge of the solar system.

The next day I went further and suggested that, perhaps, Voyager had hit the outer limits of the universe.

While you absorb that thought I’ll take the opportunity to fill you in with a few facts that should help you to understand where I’m coming from.

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Nearly five hundred years ago, Copernicus had his Revolution of the Celestial Spheres and humankind discovered that the earth wasn’t the centre of everything, despite the religious orders of the day insisting that ‘the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved’. Copernicus said that the earth revolved around the sun. It was a revolutionary idea… no pun intended… the earth was in a heliocentric system. In fact, he said, all the planets revolved around the sun. Eventually this concept was accepted, but not before Galileo Galilei had spent the final ten years of his life under house arrest for daring to support the recently deceased Copernicus. It took another hundred years before it was widely accepted that Copernicus was correct and our idea of our place in the universe was transformed. We were a lot further from being the centre of everything than we thought.

The word planet comes from the Greek ‘asters planetai’ which means ‘stars that wander’. Back then, in the year 1500, Copernicus didn’t have telescopes or binoculars, so the known planets were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The Greeks had discovered them 2000 years earlier and they knew that ‘planetai’ wandered among the fixed stars. What they didn’t realise was that some of the stars they observed in the night sky, above pre-Christian Athens, were actually other galaxies.

The invention of the telescope gave us a better view and by 1920 Edwin Hubble’s observations confirmed that the Milky Way was just one of many galaxies in the universe. We learned that The Milky Way wasn’t the only Way!

It turned out our solar system was just a speck in a spiral galaxy called the Milky Way 2,7000 light years from the Galactic Center . We then discovered that our little galaxy was part of the Local Group of galaxies which was a component of the Virgo Supercluster which was itself part of the Laniakea Supercluster.

We were nowhere near the centre of anything but, in the 1960’s, we believed that humankind would soon be travelling outwards into space exploring new frontiers and discovering billions of stars and habitable planets. Outer space was the new frontier. Excitement was immense, as were the budgets allocated to getting there. This enterprise fired the imagination of presidents of large countries… the old USSR and the good old USA. had their well documented race to the moon that ended in 1969. The USA won, though conspiracy theorists claim otherwise… but we’ll go into that later. Then China got involved and the WSA (World Space Agency) was formed as personal space travel really got off the ground… so to speak.

BTW, what the astronauts actually discovered on the moon will astonish you, but we’ll come back to that later as well.

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O.K. Let’s deal with my discovery that the universe is actually very small. I discovered that the universe is made to look really, really big because the stars that actually exist are multiplied by an asymmetrical mosaic of mirrors arranged in a four dimensional kaleidoscope. The edges of these mirrors are smudged with clouds of smoke called nebulae. Give something a fancy name and people will be in awe of it… Oooh nebulae, that’s a great word. but, trust me, nebulae are just puffs of smoke.

The apparent vastness of the visible universe is created by a four dimensional arrangement of six mirrors and smoke around seven stars. Yes, seven stars… one from each class O,B,A,F,G,K and M. These seven elemental objects repeat themselves over and over and fill up the whole of space; just like the seven days of the week fill up the whole of time.

Of course my Tiny Universe Theory (T.U.T.) was immediately dismissed by astronomers much more eminent than myself. ‘Complete nonsense’ said the Astronomical Society in their New Year message… the universe is big… really, really big. Immense, absolutely humungous… you know the idea.

In the first week of January 2025, I wrote a paper about my discovery and the Astronomy Society refused to publish it.

In the second week of January I created a website that explained my findings and suggested experiments that would prove my theory.

My website was shut down. I found myself being treated like a suspect… an old fashioned terrorist. This was all about four weeks ago, before the new President was sworn in. You must all know that since 9/11 the old establishment was using the Patriot Act to curtail privacy and give themselves the para-legal right to spy on their own citizens. I don’t want to put you off and stop you reading, but just be aware that certain authorities might still be watching you reading this and that may make you a suspect as well. Don’t worry about it too much, I have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media who will protest very loudly the instant that anything happens to me.

They can’t get rid of us all… can they?

Not now that there’s a new President in the White House

Anyway… gradually… just like the idea that the Earth wasn’t the centre of everything and that we needed a change of administration… my T.U.T. began to take hold. Because of the world wide web and associated social media platforms my theory became accepted much more quickly than Copernicus could ever have hoped for. Personally I couldn’t understand the Astronomy Society’s resistance. My tiny universe theory actually explains many of the paradoxes that astronomers and scientists have been struggling with for years.

1 : It explains the Fermi Paradox.

The Fermi Paradox states that… If there are billions of stars and therefore millions of inhabitable planets out there… where are all the other civilisations? Where are the neighbours?

Well… that is easily explained if there are only seven actual stars in the entire universe.

2 : It explains Olbers’ paradox that questions why the night sky isn’t much brighter if there are supposedly endless billions of stars

Again… explained… if there are only seven stars and a myriad of distorted reflections… it’s going to be dark isn’t it?

3 : (T.U.T.) The Tiny Universe Theory also deals with the problem that the universe appears to be expanding even though scientists and mathematicians insist that the amount of energy within the universe has to be finite.

T. U. T. resolves lots of other complex astronomical problems as well.

4 : The Red Shift of stars. It’s just distorted reflections

5 : Constant speed of rotation of galaxies. Just the mirrors rotating so the stars appear to move across the sky.

6 : The Big Bang.

Ah… the Big Bang! This is the most obvious problem solved by T.U.T.. The idea that an entire universe billions of light years across could appear in a split second always bothered me, even when I was twelve years old. It is pretty ridiculous when you think about it… isn’t it? The whole universe appeared out of nowhere in less time than it takes to say ‘Boo!’ The speed of light cannot be exceeded and yet an entire universe, billions of light years across, appeared in less than a split second. Remember… It was Einstein that said the speed of light is an absolute constant. Who am I to argue with Albert Einstein? The more I read about the big bang (deliberately small capitals) the more I realise that it is a big bag of nonsense. Complete gobbledygook.

I’m taking my claim further every day. Along with my claim that Voyager crashed into the edge of the universe I also dare to suggest that the so called Big Bang… was a simple magical trick that could be repeated by any amateur magician with access to a few mirrors. The sudden appearance of the universe is the equivalent to putting an elephant in a cage and making that elephant disappear by sliding mirrors between the bars of the cage. One snap of my four dimensional astronomical mirrors around seven stars and a whole universe appears out of blank nothingness in a split second.

The Voyager transmission failure certainly led me to the T.U.T. but it was the old Administrations attempt to suppress my discovery that made me determined to tell everyone in the world about it and give them the opportunity to make up their own mind. It was a determination that led to a lot of trouble.

On 19 January 2025, the Sunday before the new President’s inauguration, I received visitors in the middle of the night who advised me that maybe I should be quiet about Tiny Universe Theory… if I knew what was good for me. 

Well clearly I don’t know what was good for me because I’m still writing about T.U.T. and using social media to get my message out.

I’ll tell you more about my Tiny Universe Theory, my house arrest, and my ’visitors’ in the next chapter.

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Next chapter due to be released on Saturday 25 February.

The Kaleidoscope of Stars

The four dimensional Kaleidoscope revealed by stereopticon.

Ian Richardson

Ian has been reading books and comics for years. Eventually, inevitably he began to write. Winning several writing competitions recently has given him the confidence to push his writing further. Ian lives on the East coast of Scotland.

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Kaleidoscope