The James Webb telescope is a technological wonder, which allows us to peer every farther and more fully into the even greater marvels of the universe and, hence, into God’s natural mysteries. Launched, fittingly enough, on Christmas Day in 2021, the 13,000 pound telescope sailed through space, settling in what is known as the ‘Lagrange point’ between the Sun and the Earth, a zone of gravitational equilibrium between the two bodies (which, due to the movement around elliptical orbits, varies between 155,000 and 517,000 miles from the Earth). By comparison, the famed Hubble telescope, itself a marvel, hovers a mere 514 miles from our surface, not far from the space station.
With this distance from any interference from other sources of light, in the purity of deep space, its new reflecting mirrors, and its ability to see deep into the infrared spectrum (which is why the telescope must be keep close to absolute zero, so its own reflected heat does not interfere), Webb can see to what may be the very edge of the universe, 13 billion miles away, providing awe-some images of the universe close to its own purported beginning (for that light takes that much time to reach us, and hence is that old, the stuff of the Big Bang itself). The vast mirrors can concentrate on a small fraction of space – a veritable thumbnail – and reveal any number of distant objects therein. For a sample of the first pictures from the Webb, see here.
All in all, a wonder to behold, which is why the universe was created – for our benefit. Why are there so many billions of galaxies, stars, nebulae, clusters, planets, asteroids, comets? Well, why not? Could anything less than a near-infinity manifest the glory of our omnipotent and eternal God to the creatures He made in His own image? Sad for those such as Carl Sagan, who think the universe just one vast meaningless mire of matter. Not so, Dr. Sagan! It is a marvel for our eyes, and, more so, for our minds! The entire cosmos was created for us, and we are only at the beginning of what we might yet discover…
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork….(Ps 19:1)