Warning: This blog entry contains a Science geek-out. Reader discretion is advised!
Last night when we got home from Kids Night Out at church the kids were noticing the stars and that got me started. Mars is out right now in the early evening (look east for a red steady looking ‘star’) This led us to my favourite constellation right next door: Orion the hunter. We looked at Betelgeuse, the top left shoulder of Orion which is a massive red giant about 640 light years away. It is so large that if it were placed where our sun is it would envelope the orbits of the first five planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter)!
Everything I know, and have ever seen rotates in an orbit that would drop into this star without even noticing. And then there are other stars in our galaxy that make Betelgeuse look like a runt. We could go on and on with this idea so I’ll stop there.
Betelgeuse is nearing the end of its life. Anytime time in the next few thousand years it will lack the density to hold it’s mammoth surface up and collapse in on itself triggering a colossal supernova, and leaving behind a tiny neutron star smaller than our moon but so dense that a teaspoon of it would weigh hundreds of tons! I could go on with this idea too. (It may have already happened!)
So this morning I had a little epiphany. I am sitting in a meeting with the sun shining through the window. This fiery colossal mass, which is a speck compared with other colossal masses, is blasting out radiation (light) so fiercely that still 90 000 000 km away I have to squint to see my coffee cup sitting on the table in front of me. Water vapour randomly wisps from the cup and I can see in the steam, through the sunlight behind, tiny specks of water carried off into the air. Each one of these specks is made up of billions and billions of water molecules which are each made of two hydrogens (proton and electron pairings) tightly bound to an oxygen molecule (eight protons and neutrons). Each one of these particles is incomprehensibly small and is made of subatomic particles that might each made of sub atomic particles that boggle the mind and there is no indication that the process doesn’t continue further.
God made things so big I cannot even imagine them. He made things I can see and know like coffee cups, steam, and water vapour, and then He also made structures that cascade into smaller and smaller structures into oblivion, seemingly without end.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
All this proceeded from the word of His mouth. Mammoth stars, sunlight, coffee cups, protons, quarks and more. He spoke and it happened. Every word He spoke caused something to happen. I am speechless.