Andromeda Galaxy

We can scarcely imagine the galactic grandeur of God.

Our sun is a mere 93 million miles from earth. If the earth were the size of a grape fruit, the moon would be a ping pong ball about 12 feet away, the sun would be a ball of fire as big as a four story building a mile away, and Pluto an invisible marble 37 miles out.

If we wanted to travel to the sun, and we went in a plane going 500 miles an hour, it would take 21 years to get there. If we went to Pluto, we would be in the air for more than 900 years.

If we flew on the same plane to the nearest group of stars–Alpha Centauri, only 4.3 light years away–it would take 6 million years. By comparison, the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way-the Andromeda Galaxy-is 2.5 million light years away, or 15 quintillion miles (15 with 18 zeroes). Our trip to Andromeda by plane would take 4.2 trillion years.

As of a few years ago, the farthest galaxy the Hubble telescope had been able to detect was 13 billion light years from earth. That’s 78 sextillion miles away (78 with 21 zeroes). It would take us 20 quadrillion years to get there flying in our 500 mph plane.

And this isn’t empty space. The universe is full of stars. Our galaxy has 150-200 billion of them, and the Milky Way is just one of 150 billion galaxies. There are more stars in the galaxies of the universe than grains of sand on the seashore. And Psalm 147:4 says “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). (And to boggle the mind on a molecular level, consider: the number of stars in the universe is smaller than the number of H2O molecules in ten drops of water.)

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

Facts about the “galactic grandeur” of God are taken from Sam Storms’ book One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God, 85-103.