Tag Archives: Psalm 147

Creation: Journey to the edge of the Universe

How good to celebrate our God in song;
how sweet to give fitting praise.
The Lord . . . heals the brokenhearted,
binds up their wounds,
Numbers all the stars,
calls each of them by name.
(Psalm 147:1-4)

This video is 1½ hours long, but is well worth it.

I recommend you watch it in Full Screen mode!

National Geographic presents the first accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) technology. Building on images taken from the Hubble telescope, Journey to the Edge of the Universe explores the science and history behind the distant celestial bodies in the solar system.

This spectacular, epic voyage across the cosmos, takes us from the Earth, past the Moon and our neighboring planets, out of our Solar System, to the nearest stars, nebulae and galaxies and beyond – right to the edge of the Universe itself.

Using one single, unbroken shot, Journey to the Edge of the Universe explores what we would find if we were able to travel the entire length of our universe. Venturing past Neil Armstrong’s footsteps still sealed on the moon, you’ll soar over brightly illuminated Venus onto Mercury, a small planet made almost entirely of iron that may perhaps be the left-over remnant of a much larger planet. Mars is a planet of extremes: with tornadoes, volcanoes and canyons unlike anything seen on Earth. Jupiter‘s ever-present red storm is three times the size of Earth and has lasted for hundreds of years. Reaching the Saturn moon Titan, we find a landscape closely resembling Earth, but Titan’s rivers, lakes and oceans are not made of water, but of liquid methane. Could life exist here?

Traveling more than 60 trillion miles from Earth, we next step inside the Epsilon Eridani star system where spectacular rings of dust and ice resemble the formation of our own solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Even further out is star Gliese 581, about the same age as our sun with a planet that is just the right distance to possibly support life. Passing by the Pillars of Creation, viewers can see deep inside these clouds where huge stars are being born, bringing light and perhaps even life to the universe.


Creation: Largest structure in Universe

“Praise you the Lord:
for it is good to sing praises unto our God…
He determines the number of the stars;
he calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and of great power:
His understanding is infinite.” -Psalm 147:1-5

Milky WayMilky Way

A light-year is a unit of length equivalent to about 6 trillion miles (or 10 trillion kilometres). As defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a light-year is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one Julian year.

The light-year is mostly used to measure distances to stars and other distances on a galactic scale. Note that the light-year is a measure of distance rather than, as is sometimes misunderstood, a measure of time.

Imagine the distance of 4 BILLION light years.

That’s the length of a recently-discovered largest structure in our Universe.

Large Quasar Group

Agence France-Presse reports that on Jan. 11, 2013, astronomers said they had observed the largest structure yet seen in the cosmos, a cluster of galaxies from the early Universe that spans an astonishing four billion light years.

The sprawling structure is known as a large quasar group (LQG), in which quasars — the nuclei of ancient galaxies, powered by supermassive black holes — clump together.

From Wikipedia, here’s an artist’s rendering of ULAS J1120+0641, a very distant quasar powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun.

Artist's_rendering_ULAS_J1120+0641Photo credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

The discovery in the deep Universe was made by a team led by Roger Clowes at the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute at Britain’s University of Central Lancashire.

It would take a spaceship traveling at the speed of light four thousand million years to get from one end of the cluster to the other.

To give a sense of scale, our galaxy (the Milky Way) is separated from its nearest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, by two and a half million light years.

Clowes said in a press statement issued by Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society (RAS): “While it is difficult to fathom the scale of this LQG, we can say quite definitely it is the largest structure ever seen in the entire Universe. This is hugely exciting, not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the Universe.”

The paper appears in a RAS journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.