Praise Him, all you Stars of Light!

After one of our mid-week meetings this month, I heading to the car after locking up the chapel. I noticed the clarity of the stars in the dark sky, and spent some time peering up with binoculars I keep in the boot. With the help of an app on the phone, I was reliably informed that I was looking at Platais 8. This has not the most inspiring of names, though it is also known as the Carinae Cluster or HIP 45080 Cluster. It was fairly faint and would not have captured my attention but for app’s highlighting its visibility.

This particular cluster of stars is reckoned to be 440 light years distant. What does this mean? Well light is the fastest-moving thing in our universe. It travels at 186,000 miles per second and thus a light-year is 5.88 trillion miles. Multiply 5.88 trillion by 440, and that was the distance between me and Platais 8. Mind blowing, eh? Well Andromeda is the farthest object that can be seen from earth with the naked eye, and it is not 440 light years away, but 2.5 million light years. Do the maths!

Observe the awesome vastness of the creation which the Lord God made! Secondly, despite our being so incredibly tiny in comparison, ponder His taking such a keen interest in our miniscule affairs. What is man that He is mindful of him?!

Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Psalm 148:3