Tag Archives: Hubble

Thank you, Our Father!

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” -Genesis 1:1

God the FatherThere are over 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. That’s 100,000,000,000 galaxies. Each galaxy contains millions of stars and planets.


“Can we prove that God exists? Yes, we can. We can reason out this truth….

The second way is by considering the chains of effecting causes that exist in the world. Things here are produced by their causes; these causes in turn were produced by their causes, and so on. Ultimately, there must be a first cause which is itself uncaused. This is God….

The fifth way is by considering the order and government seen in this world. Things act in a definite way and were manifestly designed to act so…they are governed in their activities. Thus there are design and government in the world. Hence there are ultimately a first designer and first governor. And since both design and government involve intelligence, there must be governor and designer who is the first and absolute intelligence. This is God.” -St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa Theologica

“Where [I] am going you know the way.”

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” -John 14:4-14

Happy Father’s Day, Our Father!

We Praise You, We Glorify You, We Give You Thanks!


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The Cross in the Heavens

I was on the Hubble website and came across this intriguing image:

The Hubble gallery website  calls the image “Developing Star AB Aurigae, Viewed With a Coronograph.”
Other than that title, the website provides only this additional information on the image: “Credit: C.A. Grady (National Optical Astronomy Observatories, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), B. Woodgate (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), F. Bruhweiler and A. Boggess (Catholic University of America), P. Plait and D. Lindler (ACC, Inc., Goddard Space Flight Center), M. Clampin (Space Telescope Science Institute), and NASA.”
There’s no explanation for the black cross superimposed over the image of AB Aurigae. So I went looking for more information.
A coronograph is “A telescope or an attachment for a telescope equipped with a disk that blacks out most of the sun, used to photograph the sun’s corona.”
AB Aurigae is considered to be young, estimated to be 1 to 3 million years old.
From Wikipedia:

AB Aurigae is a star in the Auriga constellation. It is better known for hosting a dust disk that may harbour a condensing planet or brown dwarf. The star could host a possible substellar companion in wide orbit.

Auriga is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for ‘charioteer’ and its stars form a shape that has been associated with the pointed helmet of a charioteer. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains among the 88 modern constellations today. Its brightest star is Capella. The Milky Way runs through the Auriga constellation.
Here’s another NASA image of AB Aurigae, from Wikipedia:

This is what an article on ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2008) says:

“Astrophysicists have a new window into the formation of planets. Ben R. Oppenheimer, Assistant Curator in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues have imaged a structure within the disk of material coalescing from the gas and dust cloud surrounding a well-studied star, AB Aurigae. Within that structure, it appears that an object is forming, either a small body currently accreting dust or a brown dwarf (a body intermediate between stars and planets) between 5 and 37 times the mass of Jupiter.”

The ScienceDaily article also gives us more information about the coronograph used to take these images of AB Aurigae:

“Finding planets outside of our solar system is a new phenomenon. It is only in the last 15 years that nearly 300 extrasolar planets have been identified around distant stars. Most of these objects are more massive than Jupiter, orbit very close to their stars, and are identified by indirect methods such as the wobble created by the gravitational pull. None of the known exoplanets have yet been imaged or seen directly, because the light of a star overwhelms the faint glow of a nearby planet.

Oppenheimer and his colleagues circumvented this glare by attaching a coronagraph to a unique U.S. Air Force telescope on Maui, Hawaii. The telescope compensates for turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, permitting extremely high image quality from the ground. The Lyot Project coronagraph […] blocks light from the center of the image of a nearby star to reveal faint objects around it.”

And here’s the image of AB Aurigae (no black cross) that accompanies the article:

More from the ScienceDaily article:

“AB Aurigae is well-studied because it is young, between one and three million years old, and can therefore provide information on how stars and objects that orbit them form. One unresolved question about planet formation is how the initial thick, gas-rich debris disk evolves into a thin, dusty region with planets. The observation of stars slightly older than AB Aurigae shows that at some point the gas is removed, but no one knows how this happens. AB Aurigae could be in an intermediate stage, where the gas is being cleared out from the center, leaving mainly dust behind.”

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” -Psalm 147:4

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