It is so vast that it takes a beam of light (which travels some 700
million miles per hour) over 100,000 years just to cover the distance
length of our galaxy called the Milky Way. But our galaxy is only one
among many billions in the known universe. To illustrate the size of
our universe, consider the following four examples:
a.paper stack model
(1)Let us say the thickness of a sheet of paper represents the distance
from the earth to the sun (some ninety-three million miles).
(2)To represent the distance to the nearest star we would need a seventy-one-foot
high stack of paper.
(3)To cover the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy would require a 310-mile
(4)To reach the edge of the known universe would demand a pile
of paper sheets thirty-one million miles high.
b.orange and grain of sand model
(1)Here an orange would represent the sun.
(2)A grain of sand is the earth, circling the orange at a distance
of thirty feet.
(3)Pluto (most remote planet in our solar system) is another grain
of sand, circling the orange at ten city blocks away.
(4)Alpha Centauri (the nearest star) is 1300 miles away from the orange.
c.hollow sun illustration
(1)If the sun were hollow, one million, three hundred thousand earths
could fit inside.
(2)A star named Antares (if hollow) could hold sixty-four million of
(3)In the constellation of Hercules there is a star which could contain
100 million of Antares.
(4)The largest known star, Epsilon, could easily swallow up several
million stars the size of the one in Hercules!
d.the relative speed illustration
(1)Our earth is traveling around its own axis at 1000 m.p.h. (2)It
moves around the sun at 67,000 m.p.h.
(3)It is carried by the sun across our galaxy at a speed of 64,000
(4)It moves in orbit around our galaxy at 481,000 m.p.h.
(5)It travels through space at one million, three hundred and fifty
(6)Every twenty-four hours we cover 57,360,000 miles.
(7)Each year we travel 20,936,400,000 miles across empty space.
All the above is, of course, but a feeble attempt to illustrate the
magnitude of space and of a universe which contains as many stars as
there are grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. Furthermore,
in Psalm 147:4 (also Isa. 40:26), we are told that God has both numbered
and named each star.
"He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their
names" (Ps. 147:4).
"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these
things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all
by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power;
not one faileth" (Isa. 40:26).
But more glorious than all this is the statement that this same omnipotent
and omniscient God "healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up
their wounds" (Ps. 147:3).
"Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite"