crab nebula

I was looking at the hubble telescope website again today and saw a picture of the crab nebula – first seen in 1054 when people across the world saw a strange new star which was visible day and night before fading away.  What they had actually witnessed was a supernova, the violent explosion of a supergiant star.  The crab nebula, 6,500 light years from earth and 10 light years across, is all that remains.  At its heart is the core of the collapsed star, 10 miles across and extraordinarily dense.  One teaspoonful of its matter would weigh half a billion tonnes.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?” Psalm 8 asks.  Indeed.  It does us good to look at the stars and remind ourselves that the God who made them knows and loves us, cares and provides for us.  “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  Oh yes.

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