M66 is a galaxy that is high the sky from March to June in the constellation of Leo. The group of galaxies in this region is popular among amateur astronomers but to see details of most of them takes a large telescope. On this night I used a 12.5 inch Dobsonian telescope, which is not a large scope and certainly not large enough to see galaxy detail. However, I fitted it with a specialized astro-video camera to see more detail. I studied the screen image and developed the sketch in about 60 minutes.
It is an extraordinary privilege to see and sketch a galaxy like this from a backyard. It is more special when you consider that each star, each group of stars, and each galaxy is expressly created and placed. M66 is a galaxy that is hundreds of light years away; its width is in terms of light years; the number stars is in the millions. God also designed the atmosphere and elements so with the right equipment and this March clear night I could see some its beauty from a position next to my home.
The incredible scale of stellar objects and the exquisite detail of a galaxy hung and placed in space by God are astounding. More astounding are the numerous references about the heavens because they point to God, their Creator. Furthermore, the presence of most scriptures regarding the heavens is placed by other scriptures that either glorify God or express something about his care for us. When this is understood in the heart, a few scriptures in Psalm 8 take a renewed importance. How great is our God, who cares for us! Then it should be no surprise that the Gospel record shows Jesus’ attention to people like fishermen, a young girl, a wealthy tax collector, a beggar, or a small child brought to him by a mother, or you and me. The attention he gives us is precise and not an accident, which is like the heavens he created, because they analogous to his concern for us.
“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 verses 3-4 (NIV)