RECENTLY researchers from Sheffield University led a team of international scientists to make two important findings.
One was confirmation of Einstein’s wave theory of gravity and the other was the discovery of a group of super-suns, each over 100 times bigger than our own sun and together shining over 30 million times brighter.
This breakthrough was achieved using the Hubble Space telescope which orbits in space. Because it is above the earth’s atmosphere which blocks out the ultraviolet light emitted by the Monster Suns, it can ‘see’ things which we earth-bound humans can’t.
Researchers are particularly interested in these suns because they are 170,000 light years away, so what we are seeing now occurred long ago which helps scientists to formulate theories about the beginning of the universe and its probable end. The Hubble telescope enables us to see beyond the immediate reality of our world and speculate about the whole of creation, past and future.
This is also one of the purposes of religious faiths and study. They give us a different perspective on life and the world in which we live. They lift our gaze beyond the everyday facts of our existence, important as they are, to contemplate the significance of the unfolding story of creation, the beginning and the end.
It is no coincidence that the Bible begins with the story of creation and ends with the disturbing Apocalyptic stories in the Book of Revelation. Scientists and theologians alike share a desire to find out the truth revealed in creation, how it works, how it began and what will be its ending – the Alpha and the Omega.
The Rev Mabel Parr
Priest in the Bentham Benefice