Beauty in Variety

One incredible fact about the created heavens is the variety of objects. One can go from a simple eye-view that captures dominant constellations or the faint Milky Way to the detail of specific objects. Individual classes of objects differ one from another. Then one can view objects and their different facets as a function of wavelengths outside visible light. The list is endless. Hence, it is no surprise that God comments at the end of the 6th day by saying, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” This is a gross understatement, but the succinct words and their placement are God’s key summation of His creation. It is these words that I remember as I think of an observing night on June 1st, 2013. My aim was to see galaxies. I chose 3. Before we continue the story, let us look at the observing sheet:


It was once believed that all galaxies rotated in the same direction. They do not. It was once thought we would see an end to them if we could reach far enough. We cannot. It was once thought that the inner parts rotated faster than the outer parts of the arms. That is not always the case. Quite a long time ago people did not even know what they were until optics began showing they were cities of stars. And, when you look at any group of them (as I looked at only 3), none of them are the same. The variety for just this one section of creation is beyond measurement capability. So when God asks Job, which means He asks us also, “Do you know the laws of the heavens?”, it is rhetorical; God knows that we do not. We barely touch the surface of those laws.

Beyond the laws, however, is the simple beauty of these star cities. My modest optics and quick recording show a little barred galaxy (NGC 4593), a complex galaxy (NGC 4536), and a beautiful edge-on view of a galaxy (NGC 4565). It does not take a space telescope to appreciate the sheer magnificence and variety of things so far from our local galaxy neighborhood that considering the distances or the specific placement or the numbers of stars in each “city” is beyond normal comprehension.

It is easy to forget the power and vastness of God if we never see past our egos and self interests but the heavens are a constant reminder: we are not the center of things; He is. Nevertheless, a critical part of the picture is His attention is directed toward us–wanting us to see and appreciate His work, per chance we reach out to Him and find Him.  To this end, is beauty and variety is a distinct reminder to do just that.


For additional stories about facets of the earth from which lessons can be learned as their variety and vast array are observed, follow these links:

God in Calm and Storm

The Lord of the Coastal Marsh

Nuisance Weeds or Blessings in Disguise (fall color changes in simple weeds)

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