Archive for the ‘Science’ category

Changes in family life

January 23, 2010

Here the first installment of a two-part article by Paterson NJ’s Bishop Serratelli, in which he discusses the downward spiral of family life in America.  What interested me was his description of a recent archaeological find:

Just four days before Christmas 2009, a Israeli archaeologists announced their discovery of a dwelling in Nazareth from the time of Jesus.
(…)
Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that the dwelling and older discoveries of nearby tombs in burial caves suggest that Nazareth was an out-of-the-way village. It consisted of about 50 houses situated on four acres. The Jews living here were by no means wealthy. The absence of any remains of glass vessels or imported products shows that the people lived simple lives. The presence of clay and chalk vessels used by Jews at the time to ensure the purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels suggest the family was observant of Jewish tradition.

Simplicity of life.

I’m eager to see what he’ll say in Part 2.

We won’t know the time or the hour…

November 9, 2009

Surprise, an asteroid nearly brought civilization to an end last week, and no one knew it!

Kiss your loved ones at every opportunity, and be sure to not get caught a long time out of confession!

We pointed the most powerful telescope ever made, at absolutely nothing and discovered…

August 18, 2009

some perspective on how inconceivably big God is

 

Physicists as a group are by and large, the most religious of scientists.  Is it any wonder why?

Punching through the F Ring

August 12, 2009

One of my hobbies happens to be Astronomy.  I have a couple of telescopes,  (a 4″ f11 Refractor, and an 8″ f4 Newtonian reflector, if your interested) and when I can stay up late enough, I like to go out in the backyard for some observation.  Once or twice a year I’d like to get out to Rickett’s Glenn to have some Real Dark skies.  It leaves me with an everlasting wonder at how mighty, the Master of the Universe really is, and how infinitessimally small I am.  Yet, still God deigned to enter into history to clean up our mess…

Anyway, the Cassini spacecraft presently orbiting Saturn took some really interesting photos of Saturn’s rings from up close.  REAL CLOSE.  And it just serves as a reminder of how incomprehensibly vast creation is (and by extension how much vaster the creator is).  Exciting things take place in the heavens, natural and supernatural; and here is a reminder that it is not a static backdrop against which the events of our lives play out.

cassini_fring_punchcassini_fring_punch_zoom

The rings are incredibly thin, only a few meters in thickness despite being hundreds of thousands of kilometers across. Over the past few months, as the Sun shines almost straight into the rings (instead of down on them), every bump and irregularity sticks out like a tree in the desert. Gravitational effects from Saturn’s fleet of moons tune and resonate the countless particles making up the rings, creating beautiful waves and ripples.

But this, this is something new.  It’s not exactly clear what’s going on here, even in this slightly zoomed shot. But it looks for all the world  like some small object on an inclined orbit has punched through Saturn’s narrow F ring, bursting out from underneath, and dragging behind it a wake of particles from the rings. The upward-angled structure is not an artifact of the camera or computer processing, as witnessed by the shadow it’s casting on the ring material to the lower left. And what’s with the bright patch right where this object seems to have slammed in the rings? Did it shatter millions of icy particles, revealing their shinier interior material, making them brighter? Clearly, something awesome and amazing happened here.

Did the Star of Bethlehem really exist?

January 6, 2009

There was an interesting show on EWTN recently concerning some theories about this guiding light in the heavens.  According to the Scriptures, the Star led the Three Wise Men to the feet of Jesus in Bethlehem.  Dr. Grant Matthews, an astrophysicist from the University of Notre Dame, believes that there was indeed a phenomena of very rare planetary configuration that was observed.   His study was mentioned in last year’s Epiphany message of Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia.

 

The Church celebrated Epiphany this past Sunday, January 4th.   The light of the Creation leads to the feet of the Creator.  We ask God that the things He has created will indeed not lead us away from Him but guide us to their Source.