Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 1
THE CREATOR'S HANDIWORK: MATTER AND STARS
The Creator’s Handiwork
There is far more to the universe than hydrogen, spheres of gas, and arguments over senseless cosmology theories. There are also wonders. The universe around us was designed by a great Intelligence. Without careful planning nothing could hold together, nothing could exist.
1 - OUR AMAZING UNIVERSE
THE ELEMENTAL FORCES OF THE UNIVERSE—There are several basic forces in nature which would destroy the universe—or not let it form—were it not for the delicate balance between them.
"There is another aspect of modem astronomical discoveries that is, in my view, as remarkable as the evidence for the abrupt birth of the Universe. According to the picture of the evolution of the Universe developed by the astronomer and his fellow scientists, the smallest change in any of the circumstances of the natural work, such as the relative strengths of the forces of nature, or the properties of the elementary particles, would have led to a Universe in which there could be no life and no man."— *Robert Jastrow, "The Astronomer and God," in The Intellectuals Speak Out About God (1884), p. 15. [Jastrow classifies himself as an agnostic.]
1- Gravity. Gravity is the weakest force in the universe, yet it is in perfect balance. If gravity were any stronger, the smaller stars could not form, and if it were any smaller, the bigger stars could not form and no heavy elements could exist. Only "red dwarf" stars would exist, and these would radiate too feebly to support life on a planet.
All masses are found to attract one another with a force that varies inversely as the square of the separation distance between the masses. That, in brief, is the law of gravity. But where did that "2" [square] come from? Why is the equation exactly "separation distance squared"? Why is it not 1.87, 1.95, 2.001, or 3.378; why is it exactly 2? Every test reveals the force of gravity to be keyed precisely to that 2. Any value other than 2 would lead to an eventual decay of orbits, and the entire universe would destroy itself!
(Another example would be the inverse-square law, which was mentioned in chapter 1 in connection with the red-shift and the visibility of quasars. According to this law, light diminishes exactly according to the square of its distance from the observer; not 1.8, .97, or some other fraction, but exactly 2.)
2 - Proton to neutron ratio. A proton is a subatomic particle found in the nucleus of all atoms. It has a positive electric charge that is equal to the negative charge of the electron. A neutron is a subatomic particle that has no electric charge. The mass of the neutron must exceed that of the proton in order for the stable elements to exist. But the neutron can only exceed the mass of the proton by an extremely small amount—an amount which is exactly twice the mass of the electron. That critical point of balance is only one part in a thousand. If the ratio of the mass of the proton to neutron were to vary outside of that limit—chaos would result.
The proton's mass is exactly what it should be in order to provide stability for the entire universe. If it were any less or more, atoms would fly apart or crush together, and everything they are in which is everything!—would be destroyed. If the mass of the proton were only slightly larger, the added weight would cause it to quickly become unstable and decay into a neutron, positron, and neutrino. Since hydrogen atoms have only one proton, its dissolution would destroy all hydrogen, and hydrogen is the dominant element in the universe. A master Designer planned that the proton's mass would be slightly smaller than that of the neutron. Without that delicate balance the universe would collapse.
3 - Photon to baryon ratio —A photon is the basic quantum, or unit, of light or other electromagnetic radiant energy, when considered as a discrete particle. The baryon is any subatomic particle whose weight is equal to or greater than that of a proton. This photon-to-baryon ratio is crucial. If it were much higher than it is, stars and galaxies could not hold together through gravitational attraction.
4 - Nuclear force. It is the nuclear force that holds the atoms together. There is a critical level to the nuclear force also. If it were larger, there would be no hydrogen, but only helium and the heavy elements. If it were smaller, there would be only hydrogen, and no heavy elements. Without hydrogen and without heavy elements there could be no life. In addition, without hydrogen, there could be no stable stars. If the nuclear force were only one part in a hundred stronger or weaker than it now is, carbon could not exist—and carbon is the basic element in every living thing. A 2 percent increase in the nuclear force would eliminate protons.
5 - Electromagnetic force. Another crucial factor is the electromagnetic force. If it were just a very small amount smaller or larger, no chemical bonds could form. A reduction in strength by a factor of only 1.6 would result in the rapid decay of protons into leptons. A three-fold increase in the charge of the electron would render it impossible for any elements to exist, other than hydrogen. A three-fold decrease would bring the destruction of all neutral atoms by even the lowest heat—that found in outer space.
It is of interest that, in spite of the delicate internal ratio balance within each of the four forces (gravitation, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces), those four forces have strengths which differ so greatly from one another that the strongest is ten thousand billion billion billion billion times more powerful than the weakest of them. Yet evolutionary theory requires that all four forces originally had to be the same in strength during and just after the Big Bang occurred!
It should also be noted that evolutionists cannot claim that these delicate balances occurred as a result of "natural selection" or "mutations"! We are here dealing with the basic properties of matter. The proton-to-neutron mass ratio is what it has always been—what it was since the beginning! It has not changed, it never will change. It began just right; there was no second chance! The same with all the other factors and balances to be found in elemental matter and physical principles governing it.
THE ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE—Everywhere we turn in the universe we find the most perfectly planned arrangements. It is all simply stunning. The more knowledge we attain, the more involved, yet delicately designed is the planning and order.
"Everywhere we look in the Universe, from the far flung galaxies to the deepest recesses of the atom, we encounter order — . We are presented with a curious question. If information and order always has a natural tendency to disappear [because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics], where did all the information that made the world such a special place come from originally? The Universe is like a clock slowly running down. How did it get wound up in the first place?"—*P. Davies, "Chance or Choice: !s the Universe an Accident" In New Scientist 80 (1978), p. 506.
"Systems spun out by the brain, for no other purpose than our sheer delight with their beauty, correspond precisely with the intricate design of the natural order which predated man and his brain."—* W Pollard, Man on a Spaceship (1967), p. 49.
All of this is a great mystery to honest, thinking men and women.
"The very success of the scientific method depends upon the fact that the physical world operates according to rational principles which can therefore be discerned through rational inquiry. Logically, the universe does not have to be in this way. We could conceive of a cosmos where chaos reigns. In place of the orderly and regimented behavior of matter and energy one would have arbitrary and haphazard activity. Stable structures like atoms or people or stars could not exist. The real world is not this way. It is ordered and complex. Is that not itself an astonishing fact at which to marvel"—*P. Davies, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (1984), p. 223.
The greatest minds have stood in awe at the information content and intelligent order exhibited throughout the universe:
Max Planck—"At all events we should say, in summing up, that, according to everything taught by the exact sciences about the immense realm of nature in which our tiny planet plays an insignificant role, a certain order prevails—one independent of the human mind. Yet, in so far as we are able to ascertain through our senses, this order can be formulated in terms of purposeful activity. There is evidence of an intelligent order of the universe."— *Max Planck, May 1937 address, quoted in A. Barth, The Creation (1988), p. 144.
Albert Einstein—"Well, a priori [reasoning from cause to effect] one should expect that the world would be rendered lawful [obedient to law and order] only to the extent that we [human beings] intervene with our ordering intelligence . . [But instead we find] in the objective world a high degree of order that we were a priori in no way authorized to expect. This is the 'miracle' that is strengthened more and more with the development of our knowledge. "—*Albert Einstein, Letters to Maurice Solovine (1958), pp. 114-115.
Sir James Jeans—"Our efforts to interpret nature in terms of the concepts of pure mathematics have, so far, proven brilliantly successful."—Sir James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe (1930), p. 143.
Sir Isaac Newton—"The six primary planets are revolved about the sun in circles concentric with the sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. Ten moons are revolved about the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, in circles concentric with them, with the same direction of motion, and nearly in the planes of the orbits of those planets; but it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions, since the comets range over all parts of the heavens in very eccentric orbits. "—Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles (2nd Ed, 1686), p. 543544.
THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE IN THE UNIVERSE—Scientists recognize that there is a strange quality running through nature all about us, that enables life to exist on our planet. This is called the "anthropic principle." " It appears that water, atmosphere, chemicals were all perfectly designed for living things to exist, and, in a special sense, for mankind to exist.
This is quite obvious to any thinking individual who is willing, without prejudice, to consider the things of nature in our world and outside of it.
(However, you should be made aware of the fact that there are evolutionists who produce a twist on the obvious "anthropic principle," by saying that elements and molecules magically by themselves decided to arrange themselves into stars, planets, water, air, and living creatures for our benefit. In the thinking of those atheists, that was the guiding principle in all evolutionary processes. Therefore the term, "anthropic principle," is sometimes used in a sense different than a creationist would use it.)
"There really is a place for teleology and related concepts in today's science. . Arguments, drawn in the main from modern theoretical cosmology . . may convince the reader of an astounding claim: there is a grand design in the Universe that favors the development of intelligent life. This claim, in certain variations, is the 'anthropic cosmological principle.' "—* W Press, "A Place for Teleology?" in Nature 320 (1988), p. 315.
There are many other examples that could be cited in nature which require the most delicate of balancings in order for the stars, planets, life, and mankind to exist. Before concluding this section, we will consider but one more: the distance that the moon is from the earth: If it were much closer, it would crash into our planet, if much farther away, it would move off into space.
If it were much closer, the tides that the moon causes on the earth would become dangerously larger. Ocean waves would sweep across low-lying sections of the continents. Resultant friction would heat the oceans, destroying the delicate thermal balance needed for life on earth.
A more distant moon would reduce tidal action, making the oceans more sluggish. Stagnant water would endanger marine life, yet it is that very marine life that produces the oxygen that we breathe. (We receive more of our oxygen from ocean plants than from land plants.) Why is the moon so exactly positioned in the sky overhead? Who placed ft there? It surely did not rush by like a speeding train, then decide to pause, and carefully enter that balanced orbit.
2 - CITY IN THE SKY
Did you know there is a city in the sky complete with streets and avenues down which you may travel as you journey from one galaxy to another? The entire universe is laid out in a definite pattern to help you find your way around as you go from place to place. For centuries we knew about the "houses"—the stars. Then we learned about the "city blocks" —the galaxies. But not until the middle of our century did we began to realize that they are strung out along networks of thoroughfares; streets and boulevards in this city above us.
THE LUMPS—The scientists today speak of "clustered clumps of lumps." We first knew of the "lumps." These are the stars. For thousands of years, we could see a myriad of stars overhead each night; the experts tell us we can see a maximum of 2,000 at any one time, or a total of 6,000 in all (although some ancient Greeks that tried to do so, said they could only count 1,056 stars in the sky.) At any rate, human eyesight cannot pierce the veil beyond the sixth magnitude.
But all this changed in 1608 when a young apprentice in the Netherlands decided to play games. While his master, the spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey, was away one day, the apprentice amused himself with lenses—and discovered a combination that made things appear closer. He showed this to Lippershey, who enclosed the lenses at two ends of a tube. Two years later Galileo (1564-1642), using the new invention, turned a telescope on the sky. From that point onward, mankind began to see much more.
If we imagined the entire solar system shrunk in size to that of Manhattan Island, the sun would be only a foot across. On the same scale, the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, would be 5,500 miles (8851 km) distant—in Jerusalem. That closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years, or 25 trillion miles away.
Later, those things which the astronomers today call "clumps" were found:
Picture from page 106
THE CLUMPS—The next big question was whether the thousands of "spiral nebulae" in the sky, such as the one in Andromeda, were just dust clouds—or actually island universes. Then the new 200-inch telescope at Mount Palomar turned its eye upon them—and discovered that they were indeed systems of stars—millions of stars all grouped into organized patterns, each circling a central ball of stars.
Individual stars were seen in the first two (which by the way are each about half the size of our galaxy or the Andromeda galaxy), and many wondered whether the Andromeda nebula could be resolved into individual stars. Then stars were seen! *Edwin Hubble found Cepheids (pulsating stars) in them. In 1943, *Walter Baade, working at the Mount Wilson Observatory, discovered other types of individual stars in the center of the Andromeda galaxy. That shining disk was composed of more than a hundred million individual stars!
Additional evidence was uncovered in the 1940s, and, shortly after this, the spiral arms of our own Milky Way Galaxy were mapped by William Morgan in 1951.
The Andromeda galaxy is about 2.5 million light years away from us, whereas the average distance between galaxies is generally 20 million light years.
Our own galaxy is part of the Local Group of 19 galaxies. Of these, ours, Andromeda, and Maffel One and Maffel Two are the largest. (The latter two are partially obscured by dust clouds, so are more difficult to see.)
The total number of stars in the known universe is estimated to be at least 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 billion trillion). Our own galaxy contains In excess of 200,000,000,000 (200 trillion) stars. It is estimated that more than half of those stars belong to small star systems, each one with two, three, or four stars circling one another.
All the stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way) revolve around its center. At the distance at which our sun is located from the center, Earth and the rest of our solar system are moving at a speed of about 150 miles per second around that center. This speed includes nearby stars, which with us are all journeying around the galactic center.
The center of our galaxy is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, and is 27,000 light years away. The total diameter of the galaxy is about 100,000 light years. The thickness of the disk is some 20,000 light years at the center and falls off toward the edge; at the location of our sun, which is two-thirds of the way out toward the extreme edge, the disk is perhaps 3,000 light years thick. But these are only rough figures because, from where we are, the galaxy has no sharply defined boundaries.
The center of the disk and the center of the galaxy do not appear brighter to us because of immense clouds of obscuring gas. It is estimated that we see no more than 1/10,000 of the light of the galactic center.
The diameter of the sphere of the observable universe is thought to be 25 billion light years across.
In all the heavens, only three galaxies may easily be perceived with the naked eye. These are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (the former is 150,000 and the latter 170,000 light years away), and the Great Nebula in Andromeda.
The lumps and the clumps had been found. Now it was time for what the astronomers call "the super-clusters." The story behind this remarkable discovery is an interesting one:
THE CLUSTERS—George Gamow's Big Bang theory, developed in the 1940s, intrigued many minds. But the universe was far too lumpy to have been produced by a smooth outflow of radiation. Yet the full truth about galactic distribution was still unknown.
It had been decided that, in accordance with mathematical probabilities, galaxies could only be randomly distributed throughout the universe. But by the end of the 1940s, 36 "small" clusters of nearby galaxies had been discovered. The more the universe was studied, the more it was found to be even "clumpier" than had earlier been imagined possible!
Using the new wide-angle 48-inch Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory, *George Abell completed a photographic survey in 1956, and established beyond doubt the existence of widespread galactic clustering. During that survey, 3,000 plates were exposed—and on some of them 50,000 galaxies appeared in an area of the sky no larger than the bowl of the Big Dipper. In 1958, what came to be known as the "Abell Catalogue" was published. It contained 2,712 "rich clusters"—each cluster containing hundreds or thousands of galaxies. This catalogue included a complete count of all rich clusters visible to a distance of three billion light years.
But scientists were slow to accept *Abell's findings, because it violated *Gamow's theories. Surely matter could not be so unevenly distributed throughout interstellar space! Discovery after discovery revealed that the universe was arranged, not according to random mathematical probabilities, but as if by a carefully preplanned design.
As he himself studied these findings, Abell found that the clusters tended to clump together into still larger clusters. Then "Gerard de Vaucouleurs, a French astronomer discovered the "super-cluster," a flattened cluster of tens of thousands of galaxies that spanned 40 million light years—which was only a few million light-years thick! By the end of the 1970s, he determined that this "Local Supercluster" was even larger: with a diameter of 160 to 240 million light-years, and trillions upon trillions of suns.
Carefully working through the rapidly increasing data, * Brent Tully in 1987 concluded that *de Vaucouleurs's Local Supercluster was actually part of a vast complex of superclusters that filled 10 percent of the observed universe. One billion light-years long and 150 million light-year: wide, it contained millions of galaxies—and was more than 100 times larger than any previously known structure. In addition, Tully found indications of four other massive systems that were of similar size.
By now, the theorists were pulling their hair out. All this totally disproved their precious explosion theories of the origin of matter and the universe.
"Not even Zektovich had predicted a universe as lumpy as that described by Tully. A Cosmological model that could produce such vast structures would have to include large density fluctuations in the moments after the Big Bang. The catch, of course, is that the resulting uneven expansion should also be reflected in irregularities in the background radiation—which is in fact extremely smooth . . The enigma of large-scale structures continues to defy solution."— *Peter Pocock. Galaxies (1988), p• 121.
Among themselves, the cosmology advocates are in despair, although their glowing student textbook articles give no hint of their troubles.
Working with this vast amount of data, scientists carefully developed out a map of all the galaxies within a billion light years from our world. Divided into a million squares, each was shaded in accordance with the number of galaxies it contains (with black for none, to white for 10 or more). The map shows the galaxies in clusters and filaments, somewhat like delicate embroidery. Looking at the map, we see that celestial streets, lanes, and broad thoroughfares run all through the sky. They lead from one galaxy to another,—yet within each of those galaxies is to be found over 100 million stars.
All this was carefully designed for the use of God's creatures.
Picture from page 108
3 - JOURNEY INTO OUTER SPACE
Why was our sun made? It was placed in space by a Master Designer in order to give light and heat to one inhabited planet.
Why then were all the billions of other stars made?
Yes, they provide us with twinkling stars to look at, but is that the only reason for their existence?
Could it possible that—for most of them—each was also made to give light and heat to at least one circling planet?
We know that the utter complexity of everything throughout creation is so immense and awesome, that there is no doubt but that the One who made so many amazing things in our own world, surely has the ability and power to make millions of other inhabited worlds.
Why should only ours have plants, animals, and people on it? The present writer suggests that there may well be large numbers of inhabited worlds circling other suns throughout the immensity of outer space.
Someday, when the conflict of good and evil is past, we hope to be able to travel out into space and view those other worlds. We do not yet know what they will look like, but we already have some idea of what the stars and galaxies look like. What would it be like to take such a journey outward through space, and view the handiwork of the Creator?
Let us for a moment take such a trip!
The following facts about our solar system, and the stars and galaxies outside of it, are based on astronomical data recorded by professionals. A majority of the information was unknown prior to 1950.
BEGINNING THE JOURNEY—Heading upward, we first pass our own moon. It is larger, in relation to the planet it orbits, than is any other moon in our solar system. It was given to us for a purpose. The other planets, because they are uninhabited, do not need light at night, but we do. So we were given an unusually large moon.
We are journeying outward now. We will not take time to stop by Mercury with its 2-year days, and 88-day years, or bright blue-white Venus, which is the closest and generally the brightest planet to our world.
We pass Mars with its brilliant red landscape, and several enormous volcanic craters. Looking down, we sight one of them; Olympus Mons (also called Nix Olympica) is over 300 miles [482.8 km] wide at the base—twice that of the largest volcano on Earth: the one that is the island of Hawaii. The top of the crater of Olympus Mons is over 40 miles (64.3 km] wide. The volcano is surrounded on every side by a system of Martian canyons that dwarfs anything on Earth. It stretches across a distance equal to the full breadth of the U.S., and the canyons are up to four times as deep as the Grand Canyon, and six times as wide.
But more is ahead. Passing the asteroid belt with its interesting rocks of various sizes, we approach gigantic Jupiter.
Before us is this reddish giant with its swirls of intermingled reddish, whitish, and brownish hues. Circling it are 16 moons and a delicate ring system. As we pass, we see just below us the "great red spot" on its face. The surface features on Jupiter continually form and reform, but this mysterious 25,000-mile oval is always somewhere on its surface. It is thought to be the vortex of a hurricane that has been whirling for at least seven centuries. And now tiny Io, one of Jupiter's encircling moons passes near us. An active volcano is exploding on its surface as we gaze down on it.
Soon Saturn comes into view. It has a banded surface, 17 moons, and the most dramatic set of rings in our solar system. Ring particles that vary in size from dust grains to boulders speed along within these rings. We now know that the rings number in the thousands. Each ring circles the planet at a different speed.
A moon orbits within the largest gap in the rings, and at the outer edge of the farthest rings, a pair of moons run a continual race with each other! Prometheus orbits Saturn in less than 15 hours, constantly overtaking the rings. Nearby Pandora circles the planet in more than 15 hours, moving slower than the rings. Scientists have worked out the complicated mathematical formula by which these two moons —maintaining these special orbital speeds—keep particles from flying out of the outer rings of Saturn. Because of this, they have named them the "shepherd moons."
Then we see the nearest large moon to Saturn, Mimas, with a single massive crater enclosed within 6-mile-high walls. Now impressive Titan comes into sight. This gigantic moon of Saturn is 3,446 miles across, or half as large as our own Planet Earth.
Yet we must keep going, and soon we near Uranus and its own rings. From one of its 15 moons, Triton, we see plumes of gas ascending out of the ground. Another one, Miranda, has deeply-ridged craters, and canyons. If we had time we would enjoy exploring this unusual place. But now our destination lies farther away, past Neptune with its eight moons and four narrow rings, and Pluto with its one moon, Charon.
DEPARTING OUR SOLAR SYSTEM—Leaving our own solar system with its sun and nine planets, we head outward.
But we are still in our Milky Way Galaxy. It is shaped something like a disk with a large round spherical cluster in the center. The great majority of other galaxies, or "island universes," are shaped in about the same way. Because of the similarities, In describing our own galaxy, we shall be better able to grasp the beauty of so many of the others.
Did you know that there is color out in space? We already saw that the planets in our own solar system come in a variety of atmospheric and surface colors and shapes,—but there is also color in the stars, galaxies, and nebulae.
THE DISK—Within the outer saucer (the flat disk) of our island universe, the colors of the stars tend to be blue-white, intermingled here and there with yellow and reddish ones. Within this disk there are so many stars that the Designer sandwiched dark clouds in the middle of it to cut down on the light. This provides a muted contrast to the glory one will encounter as he journeys from our planet in the outer disk—into the central sphere at the center of the galaxy.
THE SPHERE—In the center of the island universe, the saucer bubbles out into a large cluster or sphere of stars. (We will here refer to it as a "sphere" to avoid confusion with the clusters outside the disk, to be described shortly; however this massive central cluster of stars is not a spherical solid.) The stars in this sphere tend to be pink!
Just now, though, we rise perpendicularly out from the saucer,—and soon we arrive at a point where we can look down at the majestic panorama of the saucer and its central sphere. There it is, stretched out below us. What a sight to behold! An outer disk, primarily of blue-white stars, rotating around a central sphere of stars that is pink-white. The Designer did His work well. It is indeed a glorious sight!
COMPARING THE TWO—In different galaxies, the galactic disk and the bulge at the center vary in proportion to each other. In some, the bulge spans 100,000 light years, nearly swallowing the disk and its pattern of spiral arms. In other island universes, the disk is as much as 200,000 light years across, and the central bulge is quite small. Variety of beautiful objects is the rule amid the scenes of nature on earth, and we find that it is the same in worlds and galaxies far away.
THE ARMS—The disk generally has a thickness of only 1/100th of its diameter. Within this narrow plane, a pattern of spiral arms rotates slowly about the galactic center. If the arms were perfect in arrangement, they would become tiresome to the eye, but instead there are interruptions, even ragged spurs here and there—that delight the eye of the beholder.
As on earth, everything in outer space is designed for beauty and utility.
ENTERING THE CLUSTERS—Circling outside of the disk and central sphere, are several hundred globular clusters. Each of these is a round ball composed of millions of stars. Imagine the scene for a moment: the outer bluish disk rotating slowly around a central pinkish sphere of millions of stars,—and around it all—hanging like chandeliers—are clusters of stars above and under the disk! And these clusters are pinkish also! Again, I say: What a sight!
ORBITS WITHIN THE CLUSTERS AND CENTRAL SPHERE—Within the central sphere (and also in the globular clusters above and below the disk), thousands of millions of stars circle in large orbits around a common center,—but the orbits are elongated (elliptical)! Each star has a different plane of orbit, so it all appears like "wheels within wheels" circling at different angles. There is a majestic complexity to all this, yet none of the stars ever collide with each other. It is inconceivably complicated, yet startlingly beautiful.
Oh, if an evolutionist or one who is undecided is reading these words; bow before your Creator and give Him your heart—and acknowledge His authority in your life. The elliptical orbits within the sphere and clusters could not make themselves, and once made they would quickly destroy themselves without the continual guidance of their Maker.
These elliptical orbits, steeply inclined to the plane of the disk, literally fling stars from within the central sphere to tens of thousands of light years out into space—far beyond the outer planes of the encircling disk,—before bringing them back down within the sphere to turn around in the narrow-width part of their orbits. If you are acquainted with the elliptical orbits of comets, you will understand that it is in the narrow part of the orbit of these cluster stars deep within the cluster—that the most dramatic part of their journey occurs. For here they travel the fastest, as they pass into, around, and away from the narrow curve of the small end of their elliptical orbits. One collision here would result in massive destruction—but it never happens. How astounding must be the view as these giant suns wheel in and out, intersecting, crossing ever so near—yet never striking one another.
DISK ORBITS—In contrast with the elliptical orbits of the stars within the central sphere and outer clusters, the orbits of stars within the disk are nearly circular and generally placed within 300 light years of the middle plane of the disk.
WITHIN THE SPHERE—Approaching the central bulge of each galaxy is like coming towards the vast entrance to a throne room, for within the bulge there are almost no obscuring darker clouds. The glory of what is inside that central sphere must be most impressive. Stand there with me for a moment and gaze down into it, as gigantic flaming worlds flash by—and pass around a massive region within the very heart of the clustered sphere of stars. What is in that center?
VIEW FROM ABOVE—We cannot take time just now to find out. Instead, we rise vertically up above the plane of the disk. Higher and higher we go. Down below us the blue-white disk stars, intermingled here and there with stars of other colors, revolve slowly and grandly in their giant 100,000-year orbit around the central sphere which, itself, glows brightly with pink stars.
THE CLUSTERS—As we continue to ascend straight up—away from the disk—we find that we are entering that world of giant star clusters that lie outside of (above and below) the disk and the central sphere. These are like "chandeliers" hanging grandly, as it were, above and below the disk at various heights. Ranging from 15 to 300 light years in diameter, these clusters appear like isolated, sparkling pink jewels suspended in space, scattered here and there above the disk. Each cluster may contain tens of thousands to a few million stars, yet each cluster has a combined mass about a millionth of the disk and central sphere. These clusters are scattered here and there outside of the disk and central sphere,—and, as it were, transform the disk into a gigantic ball-like shape, like a saucer with smaller balls floating above and below it and all inside an immense invisible outer limiting sphere that none ever pass beyond! Oh, the wonder and beauty and careful design of it all is fantastic. Such intelligent order and lovely coloring was made for intelligent people to behold. It was not simply placed out there for no reason at all.
Think of the beauty of the bluish disk, with variegated yellow and white stars scattered through it; the large pink central core; with pink star clusters on both sides around it. Yet none of the clusters are outside of an invisible outer encircling limit. That such a boundary should exist is unexplainable to the astronomers, so they have theorized that a mysterious "black halo" of "dark matter" (which they call "antimatter", magically holds everything together within each island universe and keeps collisions from occurring, and keeps it all from flying apart. But if such theorized bands of black matter are needed outside to keep everything from flying outward,—then what keeps the orbits of the sphere, clusters, and disk within from crashing together under the pressing weight of that invisible encircling antimatter? (In chapters 1 and 2, we learned that if antimatter was out there, encircling the galaxies, those particles, like a magnet, would be drawn in to the matter and unite with it, instantly destroying both.) All these theories of man are stale, flat, and useless. Let us instead behold the reality, and bow in reverence before the One who made it all and holds it all together!
CLUSTER ORBITS—These giant pink outer clusters circle in their own orbits, and this is their path; it is an amazing one: Each entire cluster of millions of stars travels far up above the disk, then orbits down THROUGH it, and then far below on the other side of the disk, and again passes upward through it and begins circling high overhead again! Yet, in all that continual orbiting of these clusters around the central sphere—but through the disk,—they never crash into any stars!
This fact is utterly astounding, as is the fact of those elliptical orbits of stars into the central sphere and then up, out, and high overhead again, without crashing together.
It is difficult to grasp the total impossibility of such a situation. Each cluster contains hundreds of thousands of stars, yet each cluster travels in a tight elliptical (narrowed) orbit up above the disk, then down and through the disk—past millions of stars without colliding with them,—and then down far below the disk, and then up and through it again. Keep in mind that each cluster of stars has a diameter that is in the thousands of light years, yet no collisions occur.
Talk about "pure mathematics;" you surely have it here! No man, no computer in the universe could keep up with the intricacies of all those millions of interconnected orbits—and design it all so that no collisions would ever occur. Yet we are here viewing only one of millions upon millions of similar galaxies!
Island universes are as astounding as anything we see here on Planet Earth! Their structure and workings are as complicated as the human eye, the human ear, the human brain, the tongue, and their interconnections.
THE SPIRAL ARMS—Another mystery is the spiral arms of the disk. According to physical laws, turning as they do, they ought to quickly become muddled together. But this does not happen. Instead, there are billions of island universes scattered throughout the vast limits of space, yet all of the spiral ones which we can view have their distinct arms.
The problem is that the stars that make up the arms are known to rotate at greatly different speeds. Some are slower and some are faster, so any initial arm arrangement ought to be disintegrated into a confused mass early in the life of a galaxy. But this does not happen. Someone is guiding all those stars, and keeping them in their course.
HOW CAN IT BE?—And then there are those involved, interrelated star orbits within the clusters and within the central sphere. How do they continue without all of them crashing into one another? And how could the clusters pass through the disk without most horrible collisions occurring?
ORION NEBULA—We are still in Milky Way Galaxy, and now we enter back into the disk toward a certain point near one of its outer arms. We are approaching the area where our own solar system is located, but instead of going there, we come to the Orion Nebula.
Gigantic walls of clouds of various colors form on all sides just before us, and a vast opening lies before us. What is beyond that immense doorway in the sky? We would like to go through the opening, but our attention diverted. We will return to that mysterious opening in the sky later, when we again have an opportunity.
Picture from page 112
PLANETARY NEBULA—Off in the distance we have discovered a planetary nebula, with its mysterious hydrogen rings that are light years across, each ring encircling a central star. The colors in the giant ring nebula fluoresce brilliantly in ultraviolet radiation from the star in the center. We head toward it—and pass directly through the great circle in its center. All around us, within the disk, we see stars and nebulae.
BINARY STARS—Because we are within the disk, we are closer to the individual stars, and can see them better. Everywhere we turn, we see double stars circling one another. How can this be? They ought to crash into one another or fly apart. Yet there they are, placidly circling one another year after year, century after century. A surprising number of the stars that we see about us are these mutually-orbiting binary stars. There are also triple and quadruple stars also, carefully circling one another! More than half of all the stars in the sky are in small systems of 2, 3, or 4 stars circling one another.
What is the purpose of those small-system stars? Let me suggest that they have been placed there in order to provide continual daylight to inhabited planets orbiting within those systems.
SUPER-NOVA—Suddenly we see a super-nova that has only recently undergone a rapid expansion. It has become very large, and clouds of hydrogen are radiating outward from it. Already they are beginning to form a lovely nebula. We stop to gaze upon it. The glory of it is awesome.
Have you ever walked down a forest path? On each side you see beautiful trees and plants. There are red and blue flowers here and there. Occasionally you see something unusual. Perhaps it is a squirrel bounding up a tree. This is the way it is as you travel among the stars. There are so many things to see. But once in a while, just as in a forest, something unusual happens which adds to the interest. Super-nova are just such an uncommon occurrence. They add beauty among the stars, for they reflect nearby starlight.
As we journey through the nebula, we see all about us vast curtains of glorious light, glowing in the starlight as shimmering castles.
By design, a super-nova would not occur near an inhabited planet, so no one would be ever endangered. Why can we be so sure? The incredible mathematical formulas we have already observed in action provide powerful evidence. A Master Designer is in total charge of His creation.
A CLOSER LOOK AT A STAR—In all of our travels so far, we have not taken time to closely examine any of the stars. Nearby we see Mira. It seems well that we should pause to consider it for a moment, and in so doing we will learn a little of the complexities of these large stellar objects. Mira in the Constellation Cetus is a long period variable star. Some of these variable stars are very regular in their changes from greater to less brightness, while others are so unusual that no cycle can be predicted. The irregular variables are unpredictable both in maximum and minimum brightness, as well as in time span. The extreme rapidity with which some of them change is astounding. Sometimes in only a few hours a variable may become 15 or 20 times brighter than its minimum.
Mira changes slowly over a period of about 331 earth-days. Viewing it from our planet, it changes from a very bright 1.7 (average 3.5) magnitude star to an invisible 9.6 (average 8-9) magnitude one. At its brightest, it gives about 1,000 times as much light as at its minimum. No one knows why it changes brightness. It is at its brightest for only 10 days, and then it wanes for 8 months, after which it rises again, sometimes very rapidly. As with most of the long-period variables, Mira is a red-giant star, and is thought to be a little larger than Betelgeuse, which is one of the largest stars we know of.
For some strange reason, Mira has heavy lines of titanium oxide vapor in it. Equally strange, although its light greatly diminishes at minimum, its heat only, falls off to about a third. Even at maximum, Mira gives only 1/10th as much light in proportion to its enormous heat, as does a white star like Vega. At minimum, Mira's ratio of heat to light falls as low as 1 to 500.
Mira is a cool star, for even at its brightest, its surface temperature of 1600 degrees F. is not enough to melt steel. Although its bulk is 27 million times that of our sun, it only gives off 1000 times as much heat. More wise designing: if this super-giant star were as hot as smaller stars, its mass would radiate so much heat that it would be something of a neighborhood problem.
Radial velocity measurements indicate that Mira is approaching us when it is the faintest, and moving away from us when it is the brightest! It is moving in a gigantic orbit around something else. The orbit would be 35 million miles in diameter. It has been discovered that Mira is a double star; it has a bluish companion and they circle one another. But this mutual orbit is not enough to properly explain Mira's extreme brightness to darkness. There are great mysteries in Mira which we do not understand. For example, contrary to physics, Mira is hottest, not when it is rising in brilliancy, but when it is fading.
But now, it is time to leave Mira. There are so many other things to see.
STAR SIZES AND COLORS—After traveling among them for a time, we begin to realize that stars can vary greatly in their sizes and colors. Here are but a very few examples of their wide range in both color and diameter (measured in miles):
Sirius B - dark white - 32,000.
Proxima Centauri - orange - 218,000.
Alpha Centauri B - light orange -848,000.
Sol (our sun) - yellow - 884,000.
Procyon - light yellow - 1,500,000.
Sirius - white - 1,700,000.
Eta Augigae - light blue - 3,000,000.
Beta Corvi - yellow - 9,500,000.
Arcturus. - yellow-orange - 17,000,000.
Alnilam - blue - 27,000,000.
Menkar - light-red - 48,000,000.
Alpha Aquari - yellow - 95,000,000.
Alpha Arae - orange - 287,000,000.
Betelgeuse - red - 433,000,000.
What a range of colors!
On this basis, our sun would be about 1/8 inch in diameter, and Betelgeuse, a red giant, would be about 6 1/2 feet across! If Betelgeuse were where our sun is, its outer edge would extend far beyond Earth and enclose Jupiter!
CEPHEIDS—Scattered throughout the galaxy, we find Cepheid stars. These are pulsating stars, and each in its own pattern is as accurate as the most accurate of clocks. Some say that Cepheids regularly expand and contract in diameter, but, whatever the cause, these stars become brighter and dimmer in accord with a definite rate of pulsation. They are as accurate in their pulsations as are the calls of crickets in the field in relation to atmospheric temperature! The same Hand that guides the crickets, guides the Cepheids.
NEBULAE—Traveling on now, we pass through massive nebulae (plural of nebula; another plural is nebulas) composed of clouds of beautiful colors, lighted up by nearby stars. Before us is Rho Ophiuchus, an enormous dark cloud of gas, glowing blue, red, and yellow with reflected light from nearby bright stars. The nebulae come in all kinds of colors!
Then we come to the Veil Nebula. Swirling veils of blue and pink clouds reach out vast distances into space. Within and beyond it we see the apparent intertwining of stars glowing brightly.
The Rosette Nebula's pink ionized hydrogen glows brightly in a vast circular swirl of clouds around a central opening. Behind both clouds and opening, stars form a brilliant background.
COLOR EVERYWHERE—In another view, the yellow-red light of Antares, and the blue light of a nearby star is enfolded in glowing clouds of pink, red, blue, and white. From our angle of view, we can see that, apparently near it but actually far off, is a brilliant white star cluster. The combination of colors and objects is incredible and seemingly never-ending. And it is all made for the happiness of those that love God.
On and on we journey, ever beholding new, more glorious vistas of beauty within the arms of the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy.
OTHER GALAXIES—So vast is the Milky Way Galaxy that, if it were reduced to the size of the United States, the Earth would be far smaller than the smallest dust mote, and barely visible through an electron microscope.
But there are other galaxies in space that are three times larger than ours. And there are smaller ones also. The smallest galaxies, called the "dwarf galaxies," are only 1 /30th as large as our Milky Way Galaxy, but even they contain about a hundred thousand stars.
As we journey onward we will visit these various galaxies. We will find that, perhaps, three-fourths of them are disk-shaped with arms. Some of these are "barred." These are called "spiral galaxies." Other galaxies, called "ellipticals," are more spherical. Still others are the "irregulars, " and come in many unusual, but beautiful shapes.
Barred galaxies are spiral disk galaxies, but with a bar protruding from each side of the central sphere. Near the end of the bar on each side a large arm extends off to the side. This means that, when you journey from the stars in the outer arm to the central sphere, you travel down a boulevard of millions of stars on all sides of you!
The elliptical galaxies are slightly elongated spheres—which are filled with stars! Although somewhat more clustered in the center and less so in the outer portion, they are still fairly evenly spaced throughout the sphere. Ellipticals are different from spiral galaxies, not only in shape, but also in two other ways: (1) They have almost no binary or multiple (two to five or so) star systems in them, mutually circling one another. (2) They have little or no dark gas in them, as is found in the disk of the spirals. This means that the glory within the ellipticals must really be something to behold!
The irregular galaxies come in a variety of interesting shapes and sizes. Looking at them is like gazing upon a field of flowers and plants. The sheer diversity is pleasing to the eye and quite interesting. It must be quite an adventure to travel through an irregular galaxy.
MAGELLANIC CLOUDS—Two of these irregulars are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, which, back on our own planet, were only visible in the Southern Hemisphere. Only they and the Andromeda Nebula could be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Like old friends, we are now glad for the opportunity to visit them as we journey through space.
Before, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds looked like luminous cloudy patches, but now as we approach through space toward them, we find each one has billions of stars. They glow pink from billows of energized hydrogen lit up by swarms of stars within them. The delicately pink radiated arms of the Tarantula nebula glows brightly inside.
RING GALAXIES —Astronomers have found about two dozen ring galaxies. Each one of these has a massive central spherical cluster of stars. At some distance outside of it is a large ring, composed of millions of stars. Some of these galaxies are also called "polar ring galaxies," and appear much like our planet Saturn, with its large central sphere and outer rings. Before we have concluded our trip, we will need to visit one of them. Surely it will be a magnificent sight. Will it have the pink and blue colors we are familiar with in the disk galaxies, or will they be different? When we reach one we will find out.
LEAVING THE MILKY WAY GALAXY—Now we take our leave of the Milky Way, , our home galaxy, and head outward as we wing our flight to the galaxy in Andromeda, , the nearest island universe. Arriving there, we come upon unique nebular objects new to us, but other than this, we find it to be as glorious in light and color and shape as our own Milky Way Galaxy. Yet our journey has only begun. There are 100 million more galaxies to visit.
ONLY THE BEGINNING—We are only at the beginning of an intergalactic journey. We will be able to stop frequently and make new friends or visit with old ones. When we wish, we will be able to return to our home planet and work in the garden, walk in the woods, or view the sights from the mountain tops. Top on our list of priorities, will be time to worship God.
To sing His praise will be our greatest privilege, for He is more wonderful than anything He has created in the universe. It is awesome to consider that a Being of such massive power could be so kind, thoughtful, and tender.
PATHWAY THROUGH THE STARS—As we mentioned earlier, scientists spent years mapping the galaxies in the sky. When the task was completed, they found that the galaxies were arranged in networks which look like delicate lacework. That was wise planning by the Master Designer. For now, as we travel onward, we will be able to journey down streets and avenues lined with galaxies, scattered here and there. In this way, it will be easier to keep track of where we are going.
On the average, each galaxy has 100 million stars. And one inhabited planet probably circles each of a majority of those stars. Oh, what must they be like! Perfect plants and animals, exquisitely-designed landscapes. Having entered the disk of the Andromeda Nebula, we now speed to a nearby star, and then head toward its planets. There, just before us, is a planet with a deep blue atmosphere—far deeper than our own, for it has the water-saturated vapor canopy our planet lost at the time of the Flood. The blueness reveals that it is a planet with oxygen and water. Living creatures and intelligent beings will be there. We head downward.
Is it a dream? No, it is real. With the exception of the concept of inhabited planets, each fact we have here described about our own solar system, or the stars, galaxies, and nebulae outside of it, has been observed by astronomers.
And !t can be yours someday to explore. Surrender your life to God and let Him be your guide, and your future is secure. "Trust and obey, for there is no other way" to find that eternal peace of heart that you so much desire.
You have just completed-
MATTER AND THE STARS
NEXT Go to the next file in this series,
ORIGIN OF THE EARTH