The Beauty of Our Galaxy

on July 15, 2009

So much of our amazing galaxy is unique and beautiful. We can look at space from the earth and see wonderful things God put there for us to enjoy and appreciate. The moon (the “lesser light” created on Day 4) was designed to “rule the night,” according to Genesis 1:16. Indeed, the moon does rule the night; it outshines every other nighttime celestial object. In fact, when the moon is out, it has a tendency to “wash out” most other astronomical objects, making them more difficult to see. The sun (the “greater light”) is over 100 times the diameter of the earth. If it were hollow, it could hold over one million earths. At first, it might seem almost “wasteful” to create such a massive globe merely to provide light for earth, until we consider that God created the sun just as easily as the rest of the universe. It wasn’t at all difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:17), and it demonstrates His great power.

Our galaxy is shaped like a disk with a bulge in the center. The disk has spiral arms; we cannot directly see this spiral structure because we are within it. To us, the galaxy looks like a faint, milky band stretching across the sky. This is how our galaxy gets its name—the Milky Way. The Milky Way galaxy contains more than 100 billion stars; the Bible says that God calls them all by their names (Psalms 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). How amazing that God has a name for each and every one of those stars!

The galaxy contains more than stars. It also contains nebulae—the same stuff as stars, but whereas stars are compact spheres, a nebula is spread out over a much larger region of space. When a nebula is heated by nearby stars, it glows, often with vivid and beautiful colors. They are not only beautiful; they are enormous. The Rosette Nebula is estimated to be more massive than 10,000 suns, and a section of the Eagle Nebula is several thousand times larger than our solar system.

God paints beautiful artwork, and He does it on a canvas of unimaginable size!