“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” -Psalm 19:1
Do you want to see how our Earth, that tiny blue marble in the solar system, compares to other bodies in the Universe?
Here are some visual aids (Source: BabaMail):
Try to imagine the truly awesome, mind-boggling Being who created all this — this unimaginably vast Universe that our puny human pea-brain can’t even begin to grasp or comprehend.
It is said that when St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the towering intellect and theologian, was near death, he was given a glimpse of the Godhead. Humbled and awed, he whispered, referring to all of the many and brilliant works he had written in his lifetime: “All is straw.”
No wonder our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead who humbled Himself by incarnating as vulnerable body and flesh, instructed us that:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16)
The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud.
The vast majority of the system’s mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal.
The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of substances with relatively high melting points (compared with hydrogen and helium), called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as “ice giants”.
Below are some stunning images of our Solar System, taken by photographer Michael Benson for his new book, Planetfall and his exhibition of the same title now at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
By “planetfall,” Benson means “the act or an instance of sighting a planet after a space voyage.”
To make his photographs, Benson peruses through thousands of raw image data, rarely seen by the public, which were collected on missions led by NASA—Cassini, Galileo, MESSENGER, Viking and Voyager, among others—and the European Space Agency. Benson then pieces together the image data into one seamless photograph. It can take anywhere from tens to hundreds of raw frames to arrange, like a mosaic, one legible composite image. Then rendering the photograph in realistic colors adds another layer of complexity.
Click image to enlarge
Jupiter’s innermost volcanic moon, Io.
Io passes across face of Jupiter
Surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa
Uranus and its rings
Eclipse of Sun by Earth
Neptune (crescent) and its satellite, Triton
Sun on the Pacific Ocean, as seen from the International Space Station
Early risers last Saturday morning were treated to a view of the blood moon.
Blood moon over the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dec. 10, 2011 (photo: AP)
The rusty-red moon was the effect of a total lunar eclipse, the last one in 2011.
The eclipse began at 4.45am PST when a red shadow started to cover the moon.
Then as the sun and moon aligned with the Earth slipped in between them, our planet cast a temporary shadow on the moon darkening it and making it appear a deep coppery red, as it blocked the suns rays.
The sunlight was still able to pass through Earth’s atmosphere casting a mystical red glow on the moon.
Unlike total solar eclipses, total lunar eclipses are relatively common and happen on average every two years. This is because the moon is one-third smaller than Earth and so fits more easily into Earth’s umbral shadow.
The next full eclipse of the moon will not happen until April 14, 2014.
Here’s another view of the blood moon – over Kurunegala, Sri Lanka: [Source: Daily Mail] ~Eowyn
The Moon’s distance from our Earth varies each month between approximately 222,000 mi and 252,000 mi, due to its elliptical orbit.
Last Saturday night was Super Perigee Moon night, a full or new moon that coincides with a close approach by the Moon to the Earth. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March 1993.
Here’s a dramatic pic of a blood-red Super Moon over the Lincoln Memorial, captured by NASA:
Click pic to enlarge to full screen!
Some are of the opinion that within ±3 days of a supermoon, the Earth is more subject to natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic activity due to the Moon’s increased gravitational force. However, according to Wikipedia, no evidence has been found of any correlation with major earthquakes. Last week’s terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan is the only earthquake of 8.0 magnitude or greater to have occurred within 2 weeks of the 14 extreme supermoons from 1900 to the present date, suggesting that the claim of a supermoon effect on the incidence of large-scale earthquakes is unjustified.
A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA said.
A strong wave of charged plasma particles emanating from the Jupiter-sized sun spot, the most powerful seen in four years, has already disrupted radio communication in southern China.
The Class X flash — the largest such category — erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency. “X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms,” disturbing telecommunications and electric grids, NASA said Wednesday.
Geomagnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours — but some could last for many days, read a statement from the US National Weather Service. “Ground to air, ship to shore, short-wave broadcast and amateur radio are vulnerable to disruption during geomagnetic storms. Navigation systems like GPS can also be adversely affected.”
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory said it saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second).
Read the rest of the Breitbart article HERE. ~Eowyn