Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How Great Thou Art!

As long as astronomers have been studying our Milky Way and other Galaxies in space, the Milky Way has been considered somewhat of a "little sister" to the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. However, recent scientific data has revealed that this is not at all the case.

The new findings were presented recently at the American Astronomical Society's annual convention in Long Beach, California. A study was conducted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A fellow named Mark Reid was the author of the study. In an interview Monday, Ried said, "Previously we thought Andromeda was dominant, and that we were the little sister of Andromeda. But now it is more like the Milky Way and Andromeda are fraternal twins."

It turns out that the Milky Way is considerably larger, bulkier and spinning faster than astronomers previously thought. In fact, the study shows that the Milky Way is virtually the equal of Andromeda! The study was done mapping the Milky Way in a three dimensional model, much more detailed than earlier studies. It has a 50 percent greater mass than was previously thought, and it is 15 percent larger in breadth.

The past few decades, with numerous manned space flights, unmanned deep space probes, the Hubble Space Telescope, etc have brought us much more data on the cosmos that surrounds us. No longer are we held to earthbound perspectives of our universe. These other probes have given the common man, and the scientific community, a total new perspective on the universe around us.

For those of us who believe the Bible, these new revelations just go to show the beauty, magnificence and wonder of our God, Yaweh (or Jehovah). The more I see of the formerly hidden things of this universe, the more I rejoice in the power and majesty of our God. Even with limited scientific data, David stated the obvious when he wrote in Psalm 19: 1-6:

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. "
When we begin to scratch the surface of knowledge of the universe, we feel so small and insignificant in the vast scheme of things. Yet when I realize that the awesome creator of the cosmos cares about individual humans, my heart wells up within me with appreciation and with awe and praise! The psalmist David must have felt the same way. Consider the 8th Psalm, verses 3 & 4:
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? "
Aren't His love and grace amazing?

No comments: