The Heavens ~ The Universe

by Don R. Hender

    For the better part of the history of man, particularly from the time of Adam, we may presume that man's understanding of the heavens correlated with what he could observe with the naked eye and may have received and been told by God or reasoned in his own mind concerning the matter. Certainly for the bulk of the duration of man, he has been mostly concerned with the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth. Even the the existence of other planets such as our own are of a more resent descovery, my own distant cousin John Couch Adams (John Couch Adams' 4th Great Grandfather is John Adams of Laneast, Cornwall, England who married English CHUBB on the 20th of June 1698, they are my own 6th Great Grand Parents) not having discovered or initially mathematically predicted the existence of the planet Neptune in 1843 of the 19th century A.D. before it was directly telescopically observed.

The further 'exploration' vicariously performed by the aid of the visual lens telescope and now by the electron telescope within the more resent years of our histroy has only began to open our understanding of the universe, with its millions of galaxies and corresponding billions and even trillions stars and countless numbers of corresponding solar systems with infinite numbers of circling planetary satilites about them. Today man has not found the end to the universe, only the limit of his observable capacity to view it.

Thus when God has spoken to man, it ought to be understandable the he spoke only of that to which man could relate, that is the heavens and the stars readily viewable which are a part of this local 'milky-way' galaxy. To have spoke to 'ancient man' of more than this would have be greater that man could have ever comprehended. Thus when God spoke to Moses he briefly alluded to the expanse of heaven but most direcly and more particularly spoke concerning this earth and its immediate heaven (PGP Moses 1:37-40). And Moses' written account therefore is more directly related to this planet earth and the immediately recognizable heavenly items such as the moon, the sun and the stars, which Moses could observe and so relate to. And when one begins to set out the sizes and distances related to our galaxy alone, little alone the universe, God was being kind to Moses and man's understanding ability to speak more specifically to him concerning this earth and its immediate heaven. (Note: all visible stars in our night sky are but stars which are a part of the Milky Way Galaxy with the exception of the next nearest spiral galaxy like our own, Andromeda, which is some 25 million light years distance away from us.)

The Milky Way

Though we cannot observe our own Milky Way galaxy from a distance as we are but a part of it, speculation graphics have been prepared as seen here. Any such graphic can only present a minimal concept as its very size defies man's finite capacity to fully comprehend. Consider that today science estimates that the Milky Way galaxy contains at least some 200 billion stars and possibly up to 400 billion. Its diameter is thought to be some 100,000 light years (one light year being about 6 trillion miles) distance, a light year being the distance that light can travel in a year. Though but a representive 'drawing', notice the 'brightness and glory' of the center of our galaxy when compared to the outer more distance reaches. One suggested theory is that this singular galaxy is but our immediate God's realm and the central core be the celestial realms, nigh unto kolob as it were.