Episode-1 The Speed and Balance in the Universe
The twinkling stars in the night sky…. We now know that some of these shining little dots are much bigger, hotter and more powerful than our own Sun…
Throughout human history, we have always been fascinated as to what is happening in the sky. For thousands of years, people have been curious about, researched and learned about space… In this documentary series, we will examine the amazingly vast magnitudes, and the incredible high-speeds that human intellect finds difficult to comprehend, the dynamism and delicate balances of the universe.
How finely God has created! It is impossible not to be full of awe when one gazes at this beauty in God’s artistry... By merely looking, one can see countless marvels: stars, the Moon, the Sun, the Milky Way, all are full of wonders...But the miracles of the universe are beyond what can be seen with the eye alone...
When we research, learn and examine these miracles, we appreciate God’s infinite power and artistry…
So in this program, we’ll be exploring the secrets of the universe by taking an exciting journey together.
Join us in ‘In Orbit Around Our Miracle Planet’ …
Our universe – galaxies – black holes – the Solar System... and, our beloved and safe planet Earth, far from the incredible speed and terrifying dangers of deep space…
Where did all of these come from?
How did the boundless universe where we reside originate?
How did all of this amazing balance and perfect order come to pass?
How did this world that we live upon be such an ideal planet for us?
It is these questions that have fascinated us throughout history.
In the last 500 years, our knowledge of the universe has increased dramatically. The first to offer scientific data that the Earth orbits the Sun was Nicolaus Copernicus. Although his equations were not immediately accepted, based on the accurate records kept by Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler was later able to complete the theory.
Kepler first proved that the planets have an elliptical orbit around the Sun in 1609 and in the same year, Galileo Galilei invented the first refracting telescope.
When astronomers were able to view the universe through telescopes, a new age of astronomy began. Just over sixty years later, in 1668, Isaac Newton improved the telescope by substituting a mirror for a lens. This innovation greatly enhanced the resolution.
In the 20th Century, with the invention of the rocket, and the first artificial satellite launched into space with Sputnik 1 in 1957, we were free to explore space beyond the limits of the Earth, atmosphere and gravity. This development heralded a highly fruitful period in space exploration.
With the sending of the Hubble Telescope into space in 1990, it became possible for us to see, at first hundreds, and then thousands, of photographs from deep space.
We now have many devices to try and learn how the universe works...
Cassini, sent to observe Saturn and its satellites in 1997,
Curiosity, the robotic rover drilling and investigating Mars,
New Horizon, the first deep space vehicle to examine Pluto and its satellites that began operating in 2006,
Juno, sent by NASA to space in August 2011 to investigate Jupiter, and…
Gaia, which incorporates the latest technology to draw 3-dimensional maps of space, for us to unravel the history of the Milky Way galaxy...
... It is deep space probes such as these, as well as exploration probes and expensive giant telescopes located at suitable points around the world, along with many other technological means that allow us to research these wonders of the universe.
Scientists who examine space all reach the same conclusion. The most fundamental cosmic laws, the most critical physical values, from the finely tuned equilibriums to the macro calculations, all indicate the existence of a most minutely adjusted and sensitively balanced order...
We can see for ourselves how carefully constructed a living environment our Earth is. We are even more aware of how special our planet is when all the essential requirements for life have been laid out for us.
Now, let us look more closely at this delicate balance...
THE DELICATE BALANCE AND ORDER IN THE UNIVERSE
The other planets of the Solar System are full of countless deadly dangers. In addition to such threats, you could never find even a bit of the beauties that we encounter in our world on those planets as you can see here.
In space there are lethal methane rainfalls, storms much fiercer when compared with the Earth, black holes swallowing everything that comes near them, planets covered in dust clouds, seas of acid, winds twice as fast as the speed of sound, deadly gamma rays and many other perils. Some of these horrors, like scenes from a movie at the cinema, are almost incomprehensively terrifying, but for us they are merely a visual show.
That’s because we are living in a world that is completely safe. We are so secure in our lives that we can even forget we are all moving through at a speed of thousands of kilometers per hour.
Likewise, we also forget that there are countless safety measures protecting us from countless dangers that threaten us every second.
There are unwavering laws, balances and measures that envelop the Earth and the entire universe.
From the universe’s rate of expansion to our Earth’s location in the Milky Way galaxy, from the spectrum of the Sun’s radiation to the viscosity of water, from the distance of the Moon to the Earth to the ratio of the gases that form the atmosphere, countless other such factors are just right for life to exist.
Whichever law, principle or physical constant in the universe we consider, we see that it could not have been brought to its current ideal state by itself, or through coincidence.
In recent years, cosmologists and theoretical physicists began to call this mind-blowing order that spawns necessary conditions for human life “fine-tuning.” Concentrating on this subject, they discovered or calculated countless examples of “fine-tuning” throughout the universe. It’s appropriate here to quote some of these scientists’ expressions of astonishment and wonder over the results of their research:
NASA astronomer Professor John O’Keefe: "We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision, we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in."
British astrophysicist Professor George F. Ellis: "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’..."
British astrophysicist Professor Paul Davies: "the laws [of physics] ... seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design…. The universe must have a purpose."
British Mathematician Professor Roger Penrose: "I would say the universe has a purpose. It's not there just somehow by chance."
All the scientific data obtained to date shows that there is no room in the universe for chance or coincidence, anywhere or at any time.
Are Telescopes a Kind of Time Machine?
Light travels at around 300 million meters a second. However, the distance to the stars is so astoundingly vast, it takes the light from the stars hundreds, or even thousands of years to reach us.
In other words, when we look at the stars, we are not seeing them in their current state. Instead, it’s like we are seeing a photograph of them published in an out-of-date newspaper left in a letterbox. The more powerful the telescope, the further back in history it is possible to gaze. For example, the light from the Andromeda Galaxy began its journey to us 2.5 million years ago, but we can only observe it right today. And the light reaching us today from the brightest quasars is from 2 billion years ago.
The Lagoon Nebula
4000 – 6000 light years away
On the screen is an image of the massive star cloud, The Lagoon Nebula, as it was during the time of the pyramids. That is, as if a photograph was taken of it during that time…To look at it another way, what we are observing right now is how the Nebula was thousands of years ago.
SPEED IN THE UNIVERSE
If the planets were to spin a little slower, then they would quickly be pulled into the Sun, which would eventually swallow them as they exploded. The opposite would also spell disaster. If the planets spun a little faster, then the gravitational force of the Sun would not be enough to hold them and they would fly off into space.
Clearly, balance is of vital importance here… as the planets vary greatly in their mass and distance from the Sun. This means that their rates of spin also have to be different...
Our Lord has created all of the necessities for life by a perfect setting of all of these speeds. God’s will allows the continuing existence of the universe due to the setting of these rates of motion. God’s infinite power on all that He has created is mentioned in the Surat al-Fatir in the Qur’an:
I seek refuge in God from the accursed satan.
“God keeps a firm hold on the heavens and earth, preventing them from vanishing away. And if they vanished no one could then keep hold of them. Certainly He is Most Forbearing, Ever-Forgiving.” (Surat al-Fatir, 41)
The Rotational Speed of the Earth
The Earth makes a complete rotation of the Sun once every 24 hours with the result that alternating periods of daylight and darkness are fairly short. Because they are short, the thermal gradient between the light and dark sides of the planet are quite modest. The rotational speed of the Earth on its axis also helps keep the thermal distribution in balance. This creates the ideal temperature for the great variety of living beings that live on our planet. If this rotational speed were not at the necessary rate, life on Earth would be impossible for all creatures.
Life in Space
Creating conditions similar to those on Earth to allow life in space is one of humanity’s greatest goals. To have a better understanding of this we need to look at the International Space Station, currently in orbit around the Earth and constructed with great effort and at the cost of billions of dollars...
60 Tons of Cosmic Dust Falls on Earth Every Day
Our world is as dusty as it is beautiful…
Every day, dust from our Solar System, our Milky Way Galaxy and comets falls on to Earth. These dust particles are similar in their quantity to that of smoke, but are quite a bit smaller…
Until now, scientists did not know how much of this cosmic dust was gathering on Earth. But, by using the Doppler Lidar, an instrument that can measure changes in the composition of the atmosphere, it was possible to closely study the levels of sodium and iron in the atmosphere. And, because the amount of sodium in the atmosphere is proportional to the amount of cosmic dust in the atmosphere, researchers calculated that the actual amount of dust falling to Earth is 60 tons per day.
Now, if we think about that, it may be time for some spring cleaning but there is a high probability that some part of that dust is cosmic! But this dust plays an important role.
The wisdom of why this dust has been created by God is demonstrated in recent astronomical discoveries...
The cosmic dust that falls upon the Earth not only helps building up of clouds in the atmosphere, it also aids in the reproduction of plankton in Antarctica. Therefore, it is being highly beneficial to the environment overall.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS
COULD OUR WORLD BE PULLED INTO THE ENORMOUS BLACK HOLE IN THE CENTRE OF OUR GALAXY?
For many people, the center of our galaxy resembles a huge electric vacuum cleaner; however, as long as we don’t approach the black hole’s event horizon, or the point of no return, then we won’t be sucked in. As our orbit is fixed, we cannot be drawn into this black hole’s gravitation force.
HOW OLD IS THE MOON?
Our natural satellite is about 4.5 billion years old.
HOW MANY STARS ARE THERE IN THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY?
There are about one trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy.
Through our research and studies, we are witnessing God’s superlative art of creation more closely. So, we will continue to explore and learn more about new wonders.
That’s the end of our program for today. In the next In Orbit Around Our Miracle Planet Program, we will continue to learn more about the fine tuning we can see in the construction of the universe through other examples of God’s artistry in the skies. We will delve into the Big Bang and the precise location of our world in the universe.
Goodbye for now.