“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
When I was a boy, there were nine planets. I remember reports in 1982 about the discovery of a tenth planet. Nobody actually saw the alleged tenth planet through a telescope. However, measurements were made of the orbits of other planets, and perturbations from where they thought the orbits should be were noted. It was assumed that these perturbations were caused by a large planet beyond the orbit of Pluto. Of course, the discovery of Pluto, being such a small planet, did not fully explain the motion of Neptune and Uranus, so further calculations in 1982 suggested the existence of Planet Ten.
Pluto was demoted from planetary status in 2006, but this did not stop speculation that there might be a ninth planet similar to the newly defined eight. In 2016, scientists once again thought that the discovery of Planet Nine was inevitable. They now had the evidence of orbits of other Pluto-size objects beyond the orbit of Neptune – the so-called Trans-Neptunian Objects, or TNOs. In 2017, all these ideas are on hold again as other scientists think that the perturbations of the orbits of Pluto, Eris and other TNOs can be explained by other TNOs.
As Bible-believing Christians, we are encouraged to stand in awe at the universe because it declares the glory of God. That so much interesting speculation can be made about small movements in the orbits of bodies within this Solar System reminds us again of the greatness of God, who made this entire universe.
Prayer: Lord, You have said that the making of objects in the universe was just the work of Your fingers. Thank You, our Great God and Creator, for being mindful of such a one as me. Amen.
Ref: Planet Nine hypothesis supported by new evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 15, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170712110457.htm. Image: Artist impression of Eris, European Space Agency, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International.
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