I'm an idiot as far as this sort of thing goes, so I'd appreciate the tolerance due to the stupid. I read in the Economist this week that it is now possible to look so far into space that we can see the universe as it was only 300,000 years after the big bang, when the first stars had yet to coalesce. I understand that the farther we look, the further back in time we look, because light has taken time to reach us. However, I assume that 300,000 years after the big bang our own star, the sun, had yet to coalesce, and the material for it was in that material we're looking at now. How can this be? Our star, and us, are here now. The material that makes us must have travelled from what we are looking at through our telescopes to where we are now, taking billions of years to do so. But the fact that we can also see the latent material that we and our star are made of seems to imply that the material travelled faster than the light it emitted. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to see it, because that light would have passed by our current location long before the material itself arrived here. I hope this is sufficiently clear to be understood. .