Here Comes the Sun

If you don’t like cool stuff, then you can stop reading. But if you’re a fan of astronomical awesomeness, you need to watch the following video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA released the video in celebration of the SDO’s first five years of operation.

Andy Stout helps to explain what you’re about to see:

The SDO observes the sun in different wavelengths – and therefore different temperatures – to examine how material courses through the corona, all of which it is hoped will provide further clues as to what causes eruptions on the sun and why its magnetic fields are in constant, violent flux. Whatever the underlying causes though, the resulting titanic destruction and mayhem is balletically beautiful.

A couple of thoughts sparked by the watching this:

1. Human beings have been able to see images like this only recently. And yet these mesmerizing phenomena have existed for an untold amount of time. And our sun is but one star among billions and billions. It makes me think about just how much wonder and beauty must be woven throughout the entire universe, the overwhelming majority of which human beings will never see. We might be tempted to call it gratuitous…until we remember that the Creator of the heavens rejoices in what he has made (Psalm 104:31).

Have you ever wondered why human beings not only seem to have a deep drive to create, but also take great joy from what we make? It’s because we’re made in the image of a God who does the very same thing, even on a cosmic scale.

2. In Psalm 145:5, David writes, “I will meditate on your wonderful works.” Viewing images like the above helps remind me why this is a good idea. His works remind us of our own smallness, and just how much we’ve yet to discover about wonder and mystery of what he’s made. That God creates, sustains, and governs all of this glory for his purpose (Col. 1:16-17), is yet another reason that he rightly deserves our worship and praise.

By the way, if you’re looking for more interstellar glory, you can find it here.

Now for  something genuinely gratuitous: summer is on it’s way, and we all know what that means: here comes the sun, bringing all those sunshine days, which are perfect for soaking up the sun or walking on sunshine. So keep on the sunny side, and don’t let the sun do down on you. Or am I the only one staring at the sun?

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