The Miracle of Stars--Post #3

My last blog entry, I introduced my friends Big John and Dr. Joe and explained the conversations we often had. On one occasion, I had talked about stars with Joe and John in the context of an article that I had read in USA Today newspaper. We were all looking at some of the images from the Hubble telescope that had been published in the newspaper. There was no controversy among us on that particular day. We were all relating to how amazing it was that we could see objects so far away; and the fact that stars were able to provide a “window into the past”.

Remember the lyrics of that song, “Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are…” That childhood memory still has meaning to me in these later years. When I look into the sky at night, I often recall my older brother pointing out the Big Dipper and Little Dipper to me. I was just a small child then. I would find the end of the Little Dipper’s handle by looking northward for the brightest star. We often call that star The North Star. Later I learned that astronomers call it Polaris.

Scientists think Polaris is somewhere close to 820 light-years away. That means that it takes the light from Polaris about 820 years to reach the rods in the retinas of our eyes; and register in our brains to recognize its past existence. It amazes me that we are looking far into that star’s past and not its present state of being. I have to mention Dr. Joe’s modified interpretation of this. He feels that when God created the stars in the heavens, he also gave them some built-in history just like Adam and Eve being created at an acquired age of 35 or so. Since Dr. Joe believes Creation is only 7,000 to 8,000 years old, he believes this process gave the light from those stars a head start for the journey to our eyes.

From the spectroscopic analysis of the stars’ emitted light, we can surmise their chemical nature. Most of them, we have scientifically concluded, are huge infernos of burning hydrogen and helium—the earliest elements of our Universe.

Every time a star generates a photon of light, it must travel its distance to Earth before we can see it. Even at the immense speed that light travels (186,000 miles per second or 670 million miles per hour), it takes a long, long time to reach our eyes. According to the Big Bang theorists, it is believed that the first stars came into existence about a billion years after the Big Bang.

In my next blog entry, I plan to talk about that Big Bang. Hope you will come back and read it.

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