The universe contains heavenly bodies of incredible size and mass spaced at distances which the human brain cannot fully grasp or conceptualize.
If we travel away from our small blue planet, we find that the moon, the nearest heavenly body (2,100 miles in diameter) orbits from earth at an average distance of 240,000 miles. And if we go further towards the Sun, we learn that it is about 400 times more distant than the moon and is 400 times larger. This is why the moon and sun appear to humans at about the same size. The Sun is over 100 times the diameter of the earth and it could hold over 1 million earths if it was hollow.
And if we continue in our journey beyond the moon and the sun and into our Milky way galaxy, we find that it contains over 100 billion stars. Some of these stars come in binary, multiple star systems, or combine to form huge clusters. And the Milky Way contains more than just stars. It contains nebulas which are like stars but spread out over a much larger region of space. For example, the Rosette Nebula is more massive than 10,000 suns. Staggering distances…
When we consider the immensity of the Milky Way, with its 100 billion stars, the countless nebulae, star clusters, and how God calls them all by their names (Psalms 147:4; Isaiah 40:26), we become amazed at the mighty power of our Creator. And we join the Psalmist in song, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
But that’s just the beginning of the Universe. God created innumerable other galaxies with a wide range of shapes and sizes. Some galaxies are spiral, others are elliptical in shape. And some galaxies form clusters like the Virgo cluster which contains about 2,000 galaxies. It is estimated that there are at least as many galaxies in the universe as there are stars in the Milky Way (100 billion). And this is only what we can figure out!
Gazing at the vastness, the mystery and the glory of the heavens at night, we get a glimpse of the infinity of space and the countlessness of the heavenly bodies. At that moment, we can realize that man is an insignificantly small dot in the universe. Yet, and most amazingly, GOD IS MINDFUL OF HIM!
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3–4)