Good morning. It is Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
I left my house at about 5:30 this morning. It was clear and crisp. Twilight was just beginning to happen, and the birds were full of joy, just singing their little hearts out.
About a minute from my house, you emerge from the thick woods into a clearing of sorts and what greeted my eyes made me smile.
Jupiter and Venus were just to the left of a waning crescent moon, all within two inches of each other. It was breathtaking. If you missed it this morning, you have tomorrow, Wednesday, to take advantage of this beauty in our sky. It will be a bit of a different configuration, but beautiful none the less.
I signed up to get emails from space; that is to say, space.com, and they pointed out that “…what we'll be seeing both mornings is an illusion of perspective. The two planets are nowhere near each other; they just happen to line up with each other from our Earthly vantage point. Venus will be 90.3 million miles from us, while Jupiter is nearly six times farther away at 530 million miles. Meanwhile, the moon is by far the closest at just 239,000 miles away.”
Perception. Think about that for a moment. What looks like it is an inch apart, is millions of miles apart. Amazing!
Here is something else to think about. The Hubble Space Telescope.
According to NASA
Hubble does not travel to stars, planets or galaxies. It takes pictures of them as it whirls around Earth at about 17,000 mph.
Hubble has circled Earth and gone more than 4 billion miles along a circular low earth orbit currently about 340 miles in altitude.
Hubble has the pointing accuracy of .007 arcseconds, which is like being able to shine a laser beam on President Roosevelt’s head on a dime about 200 miles away.
Outside the haze of our atmosphere, it can see astronomical objects with an angular size of 0.05 arcseconds, which is like seeing a pair of fireflies in Tokyo that are less than 10 feet apart from Washington, DC.
Due to the combination of optics and sensitive detectors and with no atmosphere to interfere with the light reaching it, Hubble can spot a night light on the surface of the Moon from Earth.
Hubble has peered back into the very distant past, to locations more than 13.4 billion light-years from Earth.
Now, herein lies the rub. If creation happened just over 6,000 years ago, why can we see light from billions of light-years away?
I found an article written by Dr. Danny Faulkner. Danny received his Ph. D. in astronomy from Indiana University. I want to share some of that article with you.
“We need to recognize that God used many processes during Creation Week that are different from processes today. He didn’t make Adam instantaneously out of nothing, but instead formed him from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). God used a similar process to make the land and flying animals (Genesis 2:19). And he caused the plants to grow rapidly out of the ground on Day Three (Genesis 1:11–12). In other words, God rapidly and miraculously matured many things during Creation Week. It seems both logical and theologically consistent that, in a similar manner, God could have rapidly “matured” the universe, bringing the light from distant objects to the earth in a way similar to trees instantly sprouting and rising to full height.
In addition to creating the physical universe during Creation Week, God also created the laws that govern it. What if these laws were not in full effect until the end of that week, as we see when God created mature plants, land animals, and the first two humans?
Instead of bringing starlight to earth according to physical laws, God could have miraculously solved the light travel time problem on Day Four, before putting the laws that govern light travel into effect. After all, nearly everything about creation was miraculous.
A Shining Truth
We know that the stars faithfully declare God’s glory (Psalm 19:1). Mystery is part of God’s majesty, since he infinitely surpasses our finite minds (see Deuteronomy 29:29). Our rebellious, sinful nature converts this wonder into doubt. But God designed mysteries into his universe to excite our wonder and curiosity, and ultimately our worship of him. In all our discussions, we need to point people beyond starlight to the problem that matters most and its solution in Jesus Christ.” (Source: answersingenesis.org)
I am truly content waiting until heaven to have all this mystery explained to me. In the meantime, look up at night or in the early morning hours and marvel at what you see. Give thanks to a powerful and loving Creator God who made all of that, just for you and me.