Posted by: Randall Niles | March 7, 2009

The Immensity of it All!

How can we fathom the immensity of it all?

Our sun is about 93 million miles from the earth and it takes about 8.5 minutes for its light to reach us. Alpha Centauri is the next closest star – about 25.2 trillion miles away! It takes 4.2 years for Alpha Centauri’s light to reach us!

Let’s put that in some kind of perspective — Place a marble (our earth) about nine inches from a basketball (our sun). If you imagine that each inch represents about 10,000,000 miles, your model represents the distance from the earth to the sun. Now, let’s say you want to add Alpha Centauri, the next nearest star, to your model. You would need to grab another basketball and walk 40 miles away! …And that’s the closest one…!

When it comes to IMMENSITY, let’s try for some more perspective…

Speed of Light – 186,000 miles per second.

Light Year – 5.8 trillion miles (measurement of distance, not time).

The distance from California to New York is a bit over 2,400 miles.

The circumference of the Earth is a bit over 24,000 miles.

The circumference of the sun is a bit more than 2.7 million miles (1.3 million earths could fit inside the sun).

The sun is about 93 million miles from the earth (8.5 minutes for light to reach the earth).

Our solar system is about 5.5 billion miles across (If the solar system was a large room, the earth would be a speck of dust, and the sun would be a large, bright grain of sand).

Our own Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across (That’s 100,000 x 5.8 trillion miles!)

The Andromeda Galaxy (the next closest galaxy to our own Milky Way) is 2 million light years from earth (That’s 2,000,000 x 5,800,000,000,000 miles away…and that’s the closest one!)

OQ172 is a quasar emitting huge quantities of radio waves that was discovered in the 1970’s. For a time, it was considered the farthest object from earth – 17,000 million light years away! That’s 17,000,000,000 x 5,800,000,000,000…

Now, it’s IOK-1, a galaxy discovered in April 2006 through the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. IOK-1 emits Lyman alpha radiation (whatever that is) that reveals a distance of 12.88 billion light years! Yeah right… Get your mind around that!

And the Bible tells us that God measures out the universe with the span of his hand (Isaiah 40:12)!

Keep Thinking and Have a Tremendous Weekend!

Randall Niles



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