A few scholars, who were unfamiliar with the heavens, had gathered to see them in a different way. I described a few stars and showed them some of their differences as an appetizer. It was all for preparation to make them hungry to see some of heaven’s pearls. I took them to a globular cluster with a small scope. Each of them had a chance to see the little puff of white with soft edges against the black sky. With that taste, I explained what these “pearls” were like. “They are extra-ordinary groups of stars that are physically related to each other. Sometimes these globular clusters have a half a million stars. Imagine the concentrated energy in the confines of these huge clusters, yet to the eye they seem like just a little pearl with soft edges.” I explained a little bit about the magnificence of our God to gather this energy and mass to form the cluster in the space He also created. And, he placed the heavens for us to observe and appreciate.
What would you do for the opportunity to find a cluster and observe it carefully? Some of heaven’s pearls are like the Kingdom of God as it is described in Matthew 13:44-45. Globular clusters are hidden from the naked eye. You have to go search for them to find them with an instrument. The Kingdom of God like that. You have to go hunt for it if you want it and do it with the right tools. The tool is your heart, the center of your being. It has to want to know God more than anything. You have to want Him and His kingdom more than your own way and your own abilities. When the Lord sees that inclination and we call upon Him, He does what we cannot do: makes us able to see. He births something inside we cannot birth ourselves. Then it begins to be ours!
A few nights later, as you can see above, I had the chance to observe two clusters, one after the other. I thought about that night with the scholars. I thought about the magnificence of the heavens and the Creator who made them available to observe. It was a good night to give thanks.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hand. Psalm 19:1
Technical note: The astro video camera permits me to see more detail than using a telescope with the naked eye. So the nucleus is better defined, key stars around the the perifery of the cluster are easier to resolve, and the nucleus region is also better defined. Since the instrument and sky conditions were all the same for this period, it was a great opportunity to see differences between these two clusters with respect to color, some of the star field, and the shape of the denser central region. Each sketch took about 35 minutes to complete. White or colored pencils were used on black sketch paper.
To learn how to observe the heavens from a biblical view and small instruments, download the free study “Astronomical Observering from a Biblical View” from the <DOWNLOADABLE COURSES> part of the menu.