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Astronomy

August 23, 2015

Dwarf elliptical galaxy M32, Credit 1.1 Meter Hall Telescope, Lowell Observatory, Bill Keel (University of Alabama)

The number of stars in the universe tripled in 2010. That is not actually true, of course. Only our estimate of the number tripled.

Yale astronomer, Pietur van Dokkum and his team used the Keck Observatory in Hawaii to survey eight elliptical galaxies for red dwarfs (a class of small, “cool” stars). Since red dwarfs cannot be readily detected, astronomers until now estimated their number based on the proportion of such stars found in our own Milky Way galaxy.

Dr. van Dokkum’s study determined there may be five to ten times more red dwarf stars in elliptical galaxies than previously believed. That triples the total count to 300 sextillion (3 followed by 23 zeros or 3 trillion times 100 billion).

Feel insignificant yet?

“ ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?’ ” (Job 38: 4-7).

How great You are, Lord God! How small and weak are we, by comparison.

Teach us Your astronomy, Lord. Your power extends to the most distant star. Yet Your love is offered to the least of us. Before time existed, You were. Yet you chose to die that we might live.

We praise Your holy Name!

Amen

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2 Comments
  1. Wonderfully written, dear Anna! All His greatness is manifest in the vast expanse of the Universe, yet He stooped down to save a wretch like me. Praise His name forever!

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