“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”
In the early 1960s, some unusually blue star-like objects were observed in the universe, giving out radio frequencies along with visible light. There were a number of them. Through telescopes, they appeared to have fuzzy boundaries. They were given the name Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources – and this was quickly abbreviated to quasars.
Another odd feature of these objects was the existence, in their spectra, of emission lines, similar to those of stars, but at the “wrong” frequencies. The emission lines in normal stars were known to be due to hydrogen, but the lines in the quasar’s spectrum had a wavelength about 15% longer than that of hydrogen in other stars, or in the laboratory. It was eventually realized that this effect must be due to red shift – but a red shift bigger than anything that had previously been seen. An application of Hubble’s Law – which shows that the red shift is proportional to the object’s distance – showed that the quasar 3C 273 was over 2 billion light years away and was therefore over 100 times more luminous than typical stars within the same cluster.
The existence of such amazing objects once again underlines for us how true it is that the heavens declare the glory of God.
So many objects have now been discovered that astronomers give them numbers like 3C 273. How interesting it is, then, that the Bible tells us that God knows the actual name of every single astronomical object!
Prayer: Lord, I sometimes look up at the heavens in amazement and awe because You have numbered everything there and given every object a name – because You made them all. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, < https://www.britannica.com/science/quasar >, accessed 7/1/2020. Image: Quasar 3C 273, CC BY-SA 4.0 International.
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