Monday, May 10, 2010

Jewel # 59 (May 10, 2010)

To my dear grandchildren

Who Put the Rings Around Saturn?

The expanses of outer space are filled with wonderful displays of God's creation, but man has been privileged to examine only very few of them.  With the use of space probes and new technology, some parts of our solar system have now been more closely observed, and we are able to learn more of what the Bible means when it says, "One star [is different]" from another star in [its] glory" (1 Corinthians 15:41).

One of these displays is the second-largest planet, Saturn.  This planet is approximately one hundred times the size of the earth and about a billion miles away.  Circling around it is a magnificent halo of rings.  These rings have always been there, but they were not known to astronomers until Galileo discovered them in 1610 with his small telescope.  In recent years, space probes passing Saturn have sent back remarkable close-up photographs of these rings, leaving astronomers puzzled as to how the rings got there and what keeps them in place.

The rings surround the planet at its equator, but they do not touch it.  Their position seems to change as Saturn orbits the sun in an elliptical (oval-shaped) orbit, but they are always parallel to the planet's equator.  There are three major rings consisting of hundreds or even thousands of narrow "ringlets."  It is estimated that there could be as many as ten thousand ringlets, which are probably continuously changing over time.   The three major rings are very wide.  Astronomers say the outermost ring may measure as much as 180,000 miles across.

Astronomers believe the rings are actually made up of trillions of chunks of ice, from particles as small as a grain of sand to boulders larger than a house.

Those who know the Lord God as the Creator of all things don't need to wonder who put the rings around Saturn.  God placed them there, and ever since the days of creation we may be sure He has enjoyed their beauty.  He is the One who keeps them in their amazing pattern.  King David expressed it well when he said, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).

How important it is to recognize that it is God who has brought all things into being.  The Bible plainly says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of your youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  It is important to not only know Him as your Creator, but to know Him as your Saviour as well.  "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14). 

Won't you accept His invitation to come to Him right now and accept Him as your Saviour?

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