György Ligeti: Lux Aeterna
Consider the scientific testimony about light:
-The sunlight whereby you see everything this moment left the sun about 8.3 minutes ago. But there is more than meets the eye. That light is estimated to be between about 100,000 to 50 million years old by the time it reaches your window plants.
The light began as gamma rays in the sun’s nuclear core. The rays headed out and immediately began colliding with matter surrounding the sun’s core. These collisions (think pinball game) slow down and ‘convert’ the gamma rays into photons. When the photons finally make it to the surface of the sun they stream to the earth in no time flat: 8.3 minutes to travel one astronomical unit (see table below).
-Sunlight received is ancient.
-It is estimated that light from the Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million years old
-After the explosion of the Big Bang space began to expand. “The early universe was opaque because it was so dense: radiation in the form of photons was constantly being absorbed and re-emitted. Only when the universe was about 300,00 years old did it become transparent enough so that photons could travel in straight lines…A billion years or so after the big bang, the first stars and galaxies began to form. Clusters and superclusters of galaxies emerged over time. The universe continued its expansion, eventually reaching its current size.” Dr. Amir D. Aczel, God’s Equation
-Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the afterglow of creation. It is the oldest light we can see, approximately 14 billion years old.
“The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is electromagnetic radiation left over from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang Cosmology. In older literature, the CMB is also variously known as cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) or “relic radiation”. The CMB is a faint cosmic background radiation filling all space that is an important source of data on the early universe because it is the oldest electromagnetic radiation in the universe, dating to the epoch of recombination.” Source: Cosmic microwave background
-It took about 13.8 billion years for the universe to expand, cool down and then enable and support carbon-based life on earth.
In the light of science’s testimony about ancient light consider the testimony Scripture records:
“There was a man called John, who was sent from God. He came as evidence, to give evidence about the light, so that everyone might believe in him…The true light, which gives light to every human being, was coming into the world.” John’s eyewitness & empirical gospel account 1: 6-7,9
“The light is among you a little while longer,” replied Jesus. “Keep walking while you have the light, in case the darkness overcomes you. People who walk in the dark don’t know where they are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may be children of the light.” John’s eyewitness & empirical gospel account 12: 35-36
Consider the ramifications of both testimonies:
Before anyone was born, before anyone began hoping for a “Like” on social media and before anyone decided that light should be overcome by darkness, light began streaming towards you. And that light has been continually streaming towards you.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you (Psalm 139:16-18).
“He chose us in him before the world was made, so as to be holy and irreproachable before him in love. He foreordained us for himself, to be adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus the King. That’s how he wanted it, and that’s what gave him delight…” Ephesians 1:4
It is time for us, like John the Baptist, to give evidence of the Light which has come into the world and to walk in that Ancient of Days light, reflecting “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus the Messiah.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
How fast does light travel from the Sun to each of the planets?
Light travels at a speed of 299,792 kilometers per second; 186,287 miles per second. It takes 499.0 seconds for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth, a distance called 1 Astronomical Unit. below I list the light travel times from the Sun to each planet:
Planet Distance in AU Travel time
Mercury 0.387 193.0 seconds or 3.2 minutes
Venus 0.723 360.0 seconds or 6.0 minutes
Earth 1.000 499.0 seconds or 8.3 minutes
Mars 1.523 759.9 seconds or 12.6 minutes
Jupiter 5.203 2595.0 seconds or 43.2 minutes
Saturn 9.538 4759.0 seconds or 79.3 minutes
Uranus 19.819 9575.0 seconds or 159.6 minutes
Neptune 30.058 14998.0 seconds or 4.1 hours
Pluto 39.44 19680.0 seconds or 5.5 hours