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Discovery Magazine 11/1/2016

How Big Is the Universe?

Have you ever gone outside on a clear night and looked into the sky? Maybe you have seen thousands of beautiful, twinkling stars hanging in space. Have you ever wondered how far space goes? Does it ever end? Could a spaceship ever fly to the edge of space? How big is space? Those are great questions that many people have wondered about. To help us answer them, we need to understand the word Universe. We use the term Universe to describe all the matter, energy, space, stars, planets, and every other physical thing.

For many years, cosmologists (scientists who study the Universe) told us that our Universe appears to be about 28 billion light years across. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. Since light travels at about 186,000 miles per second, the distance it covers in one year is about 5.9 trillion miles. Light goes so fast, it can go around the equator of our planet Earth seven times in 1 second. That means if light were to start at one end of our Universe, travelling 186,000 miles per second, it would take 28 billion years to get to the other side. At least that is what we were told for many years.

Milky Way

New studies, however, show that cosmologists have been wrong about the size of our Universe. Instead of our Universe being 28 billion light years across, we are now being told that it is about 93 billion light years across—much, much bigger than scientists thought before. So what does all this mean? We are often told that modern “science” proves the Bible to be  false. But that is not true at all. Real science and the Bible always agree. Human scientists often make mistakes, but God, Who inspired the Bible, never does.

Spiral Galaxy

Also, the better we understand the Universe, the more we realize that there must be an all-powerful Creator Who designed it. Before this latest discovery, people who do not believe in God (atheists) had a real problem explaining how the Universe got here. You see, the Law of Cause and Effect says that for every effect (such as the Universe) there must be a cause that is greater than the effect. But atheists have said that a tiny ball of stuff smaller than a period on this paper exploded in a Big Bang and caused our Universe. That cannot be true, because such a tiny cause could never explain a Universe that is 28 billion light years across. Now the atheists’ problem is even bigger. Now they are forced to say that the tiny ball of stuff caused a Universe 93 billion light years across. That is impossible. It violates the scientific Law of Cause and Effect, since the cause must be greater than the effect. 

So, what could cause a huge Universe the size of ours? Not a little ball of stuff and a Big Bang! There is, however, a good scientific answer to our question. The apostle Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” The correct explanation for a Universe that is 93 billion light years across is an eternal, all-powerful Creator.

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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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