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HOPE 365 Toolbox - Weekly Devotion - Psalm 8: Size of the Universe

Weekly Devotion - Psalm 8: Size of the Universe

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Size of the Universe

By Tonia Davidson, author of Big and Small of God


The sun is 93 million miles away, which - because of the speed of light - means we're seeing what it looks like 8.3 minutes ago. The next closest star is 4.3 light years away, so we're actually seeing the light that radiated from it 4.3 years ago. All other stars are even farther, thousands of light years away. A light year is 5.8 trillion miles. Scientists estimated the Milky Way is 150,000 light years across and observable Universe is about 93 billion light years in diameter. For some perspective, take a minuscule object, like a grain of sand, and hold it at arm's length. The sand grain covers just a tiny patch of sky. When the Hubble Space Telescope did just that and observed a tiny patch of dark sky for a total of fifty-five hours, it found more than 10,000 galaxies. If this picture is typical, scientists concluded there must be about 100 billion galaxies in the observable cosmos. Each galaxy would have about 100 billion stars on average, and stars typically have roughly ten planets and hundreds or thousands of asteroids and comets. Since this initial study, new research has discovered faint galaxies that can be particularly difficult to observe. With this new information, astrophysicist Brian Koberlein explained, "Rather than a Universe filled with 100 billion galaxies, there are likely 2 trillion galaxies in the observable Universe. That's about 200 galaxies for every man, woman and child on Earth." This alone is a staggering thought, but remember that the universe is continually expanding.

Reflection: The sheer number of galaxies in the Universe indicates that variety and diversity seem important to God. Often there isn't one type of species, but several variations of that species. Not just one galaxy, but rather 2 trillion. It seems God's creative power is vast and varied. What happens when you consider the size and diversity of God's creation? 

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants

you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

What is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels

and crowned them with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

you put everything under their feet: 

all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!