How To See What Cannot Be Seen

In a little 80-mm refractor, a person can stare at the area of the night sky where the beautiful Pinwheel Galaxy is located but can barely see it. It’s surface brightness is low, so without enough light gathering capacity, it’s dramatic shape and features remain hidden. Quadruple the aperture and add astro-video, the magnificent arms jump out at an observer’s eyes. 

The disciples landed on the shore of the sea of Galilee to be met by a man who was mad. His condition was extreme as the words of Luke 8 tell us. Jesus, however, saw with greater light. The town saw a madman; perhaps the disciples recognized that demons were at work; only Jesus saw the soul of the needy man and knew precisely how to deliver him from his torment. By the end of the scene, the man is sitting with Jesus and talking–in his right mind, dressed, and healed.  God sees situations with greater light; he sees their totality. Without that kind of light, we cannot see situations as they really are. With Jesus Christ in the heart of a man, however, he teaches us to see better and address situations with greater light. It’s like seeing a galaxy with a bigger scope and some extra tools compared to what is seen with a wee little scope. 

The picture of the painting below shows an impressionistic view of the galaxy with the assistance of astro-video during an hour of observing with an 8 inch telescope. At the same magnification, a small 80-mm refractor would show a very faint smudge of white with a faint nucleus.

Technical data:
Original oil on wood using black, white, and grey paint.

Original size: about 10×12 inches

Deliberately impressionistic to highlight the arms and general nebulosity.

Low quality digital picture of the painting–sized for the Web for this post


About Roland

We avidly enjoy teaching about and observing God's creation. We are active in Christian mission work that often takes us to the Philippines and Asia. the observation of God's creation in terms. Part of the outreach and work is to maintain a site: [or use]. This site includes inspirational blogs, free downloadable courses, and a history of the charity organization. We aim to share the love of Jesus Christ, who has graciously extended his love to us. Our faith is a walking faith, so faith and works, as much as we are able, are married together.
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One Response to How To See What Cannot Be Seen

  1. rolandlinda3 says:

    I apologize to the first readers of the blog post. I had misquoted the Biblical reference as I had been studying Mark 4 for some other reasons. The story of the Gerasenes demon possessed man that I was referring to in the post is found in Luke 8–not Mark 4 as I originally posted.

    The Luke 8:26-39 story is truly amazing. It was carefully researched by Luke (see the first verses of the book), who was inspired to provide the detail of the event so we would have the benefit of its lessons. If you have not read it carefully, I highly recommend it for a careful read and study. As mentioned in the post, events like this–where Jesus sees the actual condition of a person while those around him most often did not–has made me appreciate observing the heavens under varying conditions and equipment. We only see things–even in creation–in part. So every opportunity to look at an object or part of the sky again can teach something we had not seen before. His works are literally unfathomable yet he wants us to discover them…as much as we can. In the end, what he has made is meant to point us to him.

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