Tiny and fragile, is man lost in the vastness of the universe?

The universe has always fascinated people, who feel very small compared to its immensity. But we must not forget that this universe is also part of us. “A lot of people feel small because they're small and the universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms come from these stars,” said astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse. John expresses in his gospel that “all things were created by the Word, and nothing that was made was done without it. In him was life, and the life was the light of men (Jn 1: 2-4). While living on our Earth, would we therefore be connected to the universe where the infinitely small is governed by the same laws as the infinitely large?

Perdus? There is something ? Look up to the sky on a starry night, and try to count the stars! Impossible, some are completely invisible to the naked eye. With a telescope, you will be able to distinguish a few more. But it is better to be accompanied by an expert, member of an astronomy club, who will know how to name you such and such a planet. The most powerful of terrestrial telescopes failed to reveal what Hubble, put into orbit in 1990 by NASA with a participation of the European Space Agency, discovered in its journey in space which will end in 2020. Before the arrival of the GPS, the sailors and the explorers found their way with a sextant and knew their routes from the stars.

12401920_10205235873724884_3142541081814268103_oYet there is something to feel small in the face of this immensity of the universe. The diameter of the sun is 34 times larger than that of our planet Earth. It is tiny next to the Sun which could contain it 960 times. And some planets are even larger than the Sun, such Betelgueuse which is 000 times bigger than the Sun. It could hold 1000 trillion (262 x 26218) of planets Earth.

Betelgueuse is a semi-regular variable star of the red supergiant type, in the constellation Orion, located at a distance difficult to establish. In 2013 the Herschel Space Telescope estimated that Betelgueuse could approach the distance of 500 light years from Earth. A light year is equal to approximately 9 billion kilometers (461 x 9,46112kms). Betelgueuse is therefore at a distance of 4 730 500 billion kms or approximately 4,73 x 1018kms. Going back in time, if we compare with a unit of time a million seconds being equal to 12 days, a billion seconds brings us to the year 1983, a trillion brings us to the year -30864 BC. And the distance Earth - Betelgueuse would transport us to the year -145987 BC.

The vastness of the universe is beyond us. Without having all the current means of discovering space, the psalmist cried out: “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the host by the breath of his mouth. "(Ps 33: 6) And he sang:" He counts the number of the stars, he gives names to all of them. Our Lord is great, powerful by his strength, his intelligence has no limit. "(Ps 147: 4-5)

“When I look at the night sky and I know that yes we are a part of this universe, we are in this universe, but maybe more important than that, I know that the universe is within us”, Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist

The smallness of man in the face of this expanse of the universe, we are nevertheless part of this universe desired by God the creator. We are so tiny and fragile. However, we are marked with majesty because we are created in the image of God. Let us go and see in the infinitely small what constitutes the very essence of our being. Let's go see the wonderful creature that we are, it exceeds the intelligence of the ordering of the planets. A protein at the very heart of our cells allows all tissues to stick together: the laminin. It is this which makes it possible to assemble the cells together. It provides structural and functional maintenance of the tissues.

940914_10205235874684908_4017671023339862698_nWhen this protein is altered, disorders are caused. So in two studies, researchers have shown how laminin plays a central role in the development of breast cancer. A first study showed how laminin influences genetic information inside the nucleus of a cell. The second explained how the destruction of laminin can play a harmful role in the early stages of cancer development.

This protein is at the very basis of our life, it constitutes the “trace” of our life. Laminins are also involved in the phenomena of cell migration, among others during embryogenesis, that is to say the birth of any form of life, the formation of any multicellular organism, plant or animal, from the egg cell resulting from from the encounter of parental gametes to an autonomous living being including the human embryo. The basis of life are not the genes themselves but how they fit together because life starts with two embryonic cells that nothing can distinguish one from the other. One more element is necessary, the Bible calls it the breath of life (Gn 2: 7 and Ps 14: 29-30). This life is inscribed in us with a protein which has the shape of a cross thus recalling that of Golgotha ​​where a new life was given to us by Jesus, a source from which will spring eternal life (Jn 4:14).

Take the time to watch this video. If you don't have time now, bookmark this page! And when you are available, make yourself comfortable, throw it on and admire how great God is! Louie Giglio will transport you to the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Some scientists may notice some inaccuracies. But the important thing is to see that faced with the immensity of the universe, while we can be dizzy because we are so weak and small, God joins us in our smallness. The infinitely small of our cells, our life is held in his hands because he created and loved us. “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the firstborn Son, superior to all that has been created. For it is through him that God created everything in heaven and on earth, what is visible and what is invisible, spiritual powers, dominions, authorities and powers. God created everything through him and for him. He existed before all things, and it is by him that they are all kept in their place. "(Col 1: 15-17)

Creation itself speaks of its creator. And we can be amazed at all the wonders that our planet, our solar system or the universe contains. Scientists have not yet finished probing all the laws that govern what is visible to our eye and what is invisible to us. And each year other discoveries are added, making even more impressive the watchmaking precision with which nature, man and the universe were created. This chronicle is therefore only a first to make you feel the perfect picture of the master, the masterpieces of his creation.

Nathanael Bechdolff

Cover picture ESA / Hubble : One of the most recent photos from Hubble is this view of the 3000 star cluster Westerlund 2, in the constellation Carina, taken for its 25th anniversary and posted on April 23, 2015. This is a composite image mounted at from multiple Hubble cameras - one captures visible light (by the human eye), the other captures infrared.
Photo NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA), A. Nota (ESA / STScI), Westerlund 2 Science (license CC BY 3.0)

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