There were scenes of celebration and awe today after the powerful Hubble Space Telescope was used by astronomers to go back to the distant past and observe the start of the Rugby World Cup.
Whilst the huge telescope has been mainly used to see stars born billions of years ago, it had been thought that the opening group matches of the seemingly never-ending spectacle of egg-chucking was just too far into the distant past to be visible.
“This really is a remarkable achievement,” said astronomer Simon Williams.
“By the time the light from that opening group match reaches the telescope, we are actually looking at something that actually happened billions of years ago.
“Sitting here today with – thankfully – just the final of this bloody tournament left, it’s actually hard to imagine the vast expanse of time since the first match between hosts France and New Zealand. And to be honest, I don’t want to – it really is the dullest, most interminably boring sport in this, or any, universe.”
The Hubble telescope has previously allowed astronomers to capture other very distant events, including a Tory party by-election victory and a funny joke from an episode of Mrs Browns Boys, however the opening salvoes of the rugby world cup have taken scientists closer to the beginning of time than ever before.
“Unfortunately, being able to see the opening game of the tournament provides absolutely no insight into the basic rules of the game,” continued Williams.
“Sadly, no-one still has a f*%king clue about what the hell is happening on the pitch.”