Sunday, May 8, 2011


When we moved to Pittsburgh,two years ago, I got in the habit of sitting "out back" and relaxing each evening, gazing at the summer sky. I have always liked astronomy, and as a boy in the 70s, I watched Star Trek reruns, dreaming about how "cool" it would be to travel accross the galaxy. I even took a college course in the subject, but the Cosmos began taking on new meaning for me recently. The older I get, the greater the revelation that my life is finite, and I am but a fraction of a grain of sand in the entire universe (that is OUR universe, as it is theorized there are more than one). The fact that we are so miniscule and the universe so unfathomable, strengthens my faith in God. It also elicits great reverence and respect. He owns all this, yet He still cares for me. Amazing!
Lydia and I began attending lectures at the Allegheny observatory here in Pittsburgh, complete with fascinating speakers, tours, and sometimes viewings. The first time we went, Lydia and I got to spend a couple of hours viewing the heavens with a super zealous observatory employee who was more than happy to pull some "OT" for us (overtime, to you youngsters). I clearly saw what I was told was a galaxy. I simply could not comprehend it, yet I comprehend that it is incomprehensible.
Stop, take a breath, and allow the following information to soak in. Really digest it. If you are normal, and really absorb it as I am asking, it will take your breath away:

THE SOLAR SYSTEM, ALONE, IS TOO BIG FOR US TO IMAGINE. The distance from the Sun to Earth is 93 million miles. Can you imagine outrunning light? What can be faster than light? Theoretically, nothing. To us, light seems instantaneous, at 186,000 per second (approximately). However, it takes about 8 minutes for light to reach us, from the time it leaves the sun. Pluto, the farthest "planet" (not the farthest celestial object), is estimated to be 3.7 BILLION miles from the sun.
Some scientist think there are 300 BILLION suns in our galaxy. The closest, Alpha Centauri, is 4.4 light years away. It would take 4.4 years, traveling at the speed of light, although in theory, reaching that speed would cause matter (you and your space ship)to become pure energy.
They believe there are 100 BILLION galaxies in the Universe.
There are theorized to be a huge, perhaps infinite, number of universes. I once googled theories on how many universes exist. Yes, if you are like me, you were indoctrinated, in 6th grade science class, with the idea that the universe, by definition, is singular. In other words, when we speak of the universe, we are speaking of know,infinite creation. But, by use of mathematics neither one of us probably understands, that is believed to not be the case. You may say, "That is impossible. There has to be a beginning and an end. There has to be a final number, a final amount,of anything". You say this because the human brain is wired into a paradigm that says infinity does not exist. I am about to stop myself, because that is a subject so fascinating that it is suitable for its own blog.
Don't worry if you are not overly hip to the whole cosmology/astronomy thing. This is not a blog about astronomy, per say. It is about critical examination of paradigms. However, at future times, I will elaborate on antimatter, black holes, the space/time continuum,the eleven dimensions of space, and how they ALL bear testimony to God Almighty.

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