Pluto should feel pretty bad, demoted a few years back from being a planet to a mere asteroid. Evidently, there are quite a few — 715 to be exact — heavenly bodies identified this week by NASA to have a status higher than the forlorn little Pluto.
These 715 newly discovered planets join about 1,000 others that had been identified in our galaxy before this week’s NASA announcement. The “new” planets were verified using data from the first two years of the voyage of the Kepler space observatory, launched in 2009. That means there may be many more planets in the Milky Way to come.
Four of those planets are in what NASA calls the “habitable zone,” meaning they have the makeup to support life.
The discoveries, we are sure, make astronomers absolutely giddy. After all, that’s what astronomy is all about — searching and identifying the parts of the universe that are beyond the scope of the human eye.
To us non-astronomers, the news also verified what many of us have suspected — that G-d created the universe in its entirety, not just the earth and the sky; and that G-d’s will is manifest throughout the universe.
Jewish mysticism dwells on the fact that G-d created absolutely everything — our earth and beyond. In Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), it is written of the hidden meanings of the Genesis narrative: “He drew them, hewed them, combined them, weighed them, interchanged them, and through them produced the whole creation and everything that is destined to come into being.”
“Everything” means . . . every thing. We are just beginning to realize the scope of “everything.”
The ever-so-eloquent Abraham Lincoln during his second inaugural address in March, 1865, stated:“Icanseehowitmightbepossible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no G-d.”
Amen . . . 715 times.
Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News