Begin with our solar system. At the speed of light, 300,000,000 metres a second, sunlight takes eight minutes to reach the earth. That same light takes five more hours to reach the farthest planet in our solar system, Pluto. After leaving our solar system that same sunlight must travel for four years and four months to reach the next star in the universe. That is a distance of 40 trillion kilometers – mere shoutin’ distance in the universe!
The sun resides in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is shaped like a flying saucer, flat and with a bulge in the center. Our sun is roughly 3/4 of the way to the edge of the galaxy. To get a feel for that distance, if our solar system were one inch across, the distance to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy would be 379 miles. Our Galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars.
Yet the Milky Way is but one of roughly one trillion galaxies in the universe. Says astronomer Allan Sandage, “Galaxies are to astronomy what atoms are to Physics.”
There are twenty galaxies in what is called our local group. The next sort of grouping in the universe is called a supercluster of galaxies. Within our supurcluster, the nearest cluster of galaxies, called Virgo, is 50 million light years away. (A light year is the distance light travels in one year. The get a feel for the distance of one light year, if you drove your car at 80 kilometers per hour, it would take you 12.2 million years to travel one light year.)
Astronomers estimate that the distance across the universe is roughly 40 billion light years and that there are roughly 100 billion trillion stars.
And the Lord Almighty is the Creater of it all. Not a bad day’s work.
Gen. 1; Ps. 33:6-9; John 1:3; Acts 4:24;
Col. 1:16-17; Rev. 4:11
(Note: I didn’t write this)