Continuing the series, and moving farther out from a few stunning facts about our earth and sun, the next part I shared about in my teaching (and the handout I later made that I am taking these from) is about our Solar System. Next post, our Milky Way galaxy. After that, our universe.
As with all these posts, I can't verify the facts, but I've tried to get them from web sites that seem to know what they are talking about (whatever that exactly means). Enjoy. Reflect. And be in awe. We have a mighty and awesome God, and the Heavens declare His glory. Don't forget the "God Thought" at the end of each post . . . He, and your faith and relationship with Him, is truly what this is all about, not just getting puffed up with some more knowledge. May He pour out revelation and a deep awareness of His love for you and His presence as you read this. —Erick
Our Solar System
How big is the network of our sun and the planets orbiting it? Let’s use an example someone made up of a walk. Imagine each 3' step you take to represent 1,000,000 miles (yes, one million miles). Picture a football field and start at the back of one of the end zones and pretend you are where the sun is. Now walk forward, cross the end zone, past the 50 yard line, and continue in to your opponent’s side of the field. When you get to their 17 yard line you have reached the earth (remember, each step was 1 million miles!). Now, continue walking over 1.5 miles and you will get to Neptune, the farthest out planet if you don’t want to count poor Pluto (if you do you’ll need to walk over 2 miles from the back of the end zone where you started). The same site said that if you got on a jet and flew at 600 miles per hour from the Sun to Neptune, it would take 513 years. If you could drive the same distance, it would take 4,400 years.
Defining a Few Terms
Since we are starting from here out to get into some terms that represent some big numbers, here's a few simplified definitions and way of looking at things to help us try and grasp them.
Light Year: How far you would travel in one year if you traveled constantly at the speed of light, which is about 186,000 miles per second (or, around the world at the equator over seven times in a second).
Billion: If you typed the letter “a” on a sheet of paper 1,000 times, you’d need 1 million sheets to have a billion letter “a”s. Or, if you started counting now, it would take you 32 years to count a billion seconds.
Astronomical: We use this term to describe things really, really BIG! No wonder. It comes from the root “astro” pertaining to stars and celestial bodies.
God Thought: Ephesians 1:4 says that “. . . He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”—before He created one bit of this He already knew you, loved you, and had a plan to restore you to Him through Jesus’ death. You are truly precious! In fact, His entire creation of the universe was the opening act to His culmination . . . creating us!