11 Billion Miles and Counting

Voyager 1 - Wikipedia
Voyager 1 – Wikipedia

I recently read a news story about Voyager 1 which was launched on September 5, 1977. After almost 36 years of traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, Voyager 1 is thought to be on the edge of leaving our solar system. It takes 17 hours for the radio signal from Voyager 1 to reach Earth. I am amazed by the fact that after traveling 11 billion miles, this space probe has still not left the influence of our sun’s energy. 11 billion miles is 441,749.57 trips around the earth at the equator (which is 24,901.55 miles).

So how do we make sense of these huge numbers?

Well, we know that Voyager 1 is approximately 11,000,000,000 miles from earth. We need to add another 92,960,000 miles to get the radius of what the scientists think is the edge or our solar system. That means that our solar system has a diameter of 22,185,920,000 miles. It would take a beam of light about 33 hours to travel across the diameter of our solar system at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. To put this in perspective, at last Saturday’s NASCAR race, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe’s 48 Chevrolet SS, had a top speed of 203 miles per hour on the back straightaway at Daytona.

Our solar system is just a very small part of the Milky Way galaxy which is estimated to be 100,000 to 120,000 light years in diameter. Our galaxy is just one of about 150 billion (give or take 50 billion) galaxies in the universe.

Your problems today may seem insurmountable but there is hope. God hears the prayers of each person who takes the time to stop and talk with Him. The God who created this vast universe cares about you as an individual.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
-Luke 12:7

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