Hi, I'm a writer and I've just started researching a story about astronomy. I'm not a physicist (actually I'm a biologist by trade) but I really want to get the science right. I know a lot of work has been done lately with things like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey but I was wondering what exactly someone studying distant galaxies might be looking for, and what techniques they might use. Also what sort of techniques for observation are merely theoretical now but might be available in the future. For example would an enormous optical telescope (situated on, say, the Moon) allow researchers to see more, or is there a limit to what can be achieved in the visible spectrum? Another question: if an observer with excellent equipment was watching an event on a distant galaxy (say, 10bn LY), and something seemed to change over a scale of a few minutes or hours (and the change isn't caused by active galactic nuclei or anything like that) then would the time taken for the change to be observed correspond at all to the time taken for the event to happen, or would it be completely different? (yes I know my character is staring 10bn years into the past, that's not my question). For example: If a galaxy exploded 10bn years ago and we just see the explosion now, and the actual explosion lasted a year of our time (I know that isn't realistic), would the light from that explosion be seen on earth for a year, or would the event itself appear longer or shorter by the time the light reached earth? Sorry if I am confused over basic physics or if my question doesn't make sense... Adrastea.