Last week a group from my husband’s workplace had a meeting where they invited Adam Block, a world renowned astrophotographer from our local Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, to give a presentation.
The bulk of the presentation was about how he and others produced the amazing photos of various objects in space — galaxies, nebulae, stars, planets, etc. — using filters and computer programs to select from the voluminous amounts of data the telescopes collected. He had many amazing, beautiful and awe-inspiring pictures to show us.
Unfortunately, being a world-renowned astrophotographer, all the photos he showed us are copyrighted, so I can’t use them here. You can see them at the SkyCenter’s website, however.
Throughout the presentation I marveled at the beauty and the enormity of it all — the great spaces, the immense numbers of stars or galaxies, the wonderful formations of the gaseous clouds of the nebulae (which it turns out are actually star factories.)
It amused me, as well, to consider the fact that one day, in my resurrection body, I will get to take a real space tour, flying right through those immense clouds.
Even more mind-boggling, though, was that it brings to mind just how big God is.
Block showed us a picture of the galaxies similar to the one below ( which NASA and the National Space Science Data Center supplied the data for) …
This isn’t quite as clear as the photograph he showed us, but each of those bright spots is an entire galaxy.
Then there was the revelation that our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy are headed toward a collision with each other. Not surprisingly, this topic spurred some questions.
“What will happen when they collide?
Block provided computer simulations of the two galaxies moving into one another, their distinctive shapes distorting and warping as they did so, producing elements that looked sort of like wings.
“Will the stars of Andromeda collide with the sun during all this?” another man asked.
“Oh, no,” Block replied. “The spaces between all the stars are too large for them to collide.” He said their gravitational fields work off each other in different ways that would also prevent that.
Even so, people seemed uneasy. Finally someone asked, “When is this going to occur?”
And Block’s reply: “In about 300 billion years.”
300 billion years.
I started laughing. So did a number of other people.
God is SO big, it really does boggle the mind. Not only in “size” but in time… 300 billion years!
What’s really funny is the fact that — as my husband observed afterward — all that stuff Block showed us, all the things we’re observing through our telescopes today are not even what is actually out there any more. That stuff’s all ancient history, since the light we’re receiving now, left ‘out there’ billions of light years ago and is only just arriving….
In any case, we don’t have to worry because I think it won’t be much longer before the Lord comes. Once He does, it’ll only be 1007 years before the new heavens and the new earth are created…
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth and its works will be burned up (or investigated, referring to the Last Judgment)… But according the His promise we are looking forward to new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells… 2 Pe 3:10;13