Nasa photo from Netiore Archive
Have you ever seen the Helix Nebula before? This is a composite of pictures from Nasa’s Hubble telescope and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Yes, it is real, but the color was added by Nasa. I suspect for more impact, for a cover layout they were doing. Nasa, also, never gave it the name Eye of God. I wonder if the first man to visually see it had to be picked up off the floor. I know I would have passed out.
A nebula is a dying star. The Helix nebula is 650 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius. It’s a trillion mile long tunnel of glowing gases. If our sun died it would look pretty much like this.
Stars like our sun and Helix burn by turning hydrogen into helium by nuclear fusion. When the hydrogen is exhausted, the star starts burning the remaining helium at a greater temperature. When the helium is used up the star dies sending off gas layers around the hot core. The core is called a white dwarf and so dense that a teaspoon of white dwarf would weight more than a couple elephants.
The following is also a picture of the Helix nebula. You will notice a small dot in the center. This is the white dwarf. I’m not sure, but I think this one also has color added. It helps to see it better.
Nasa photo from Spitzer space telescope
I can’t help but be amazed that God would put this in the heavens just so we would be reminded that He is watching over us.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
How did Paul Revere get all the credit? Sure he was a prominent businessman and all, but what Sybil Ludington did was much more amazing. She was the oldest of twelve children, her father was a colonel in the colonial army. One night a soldier stumbled into their home telling of the British invading. As the soldier was exhausted and the father had to prepare for battle, the daughter, just sixteen, was sent to rally the troops.
She mounted her horse, Star, and took off in the rain around 9:00 pm. During this grueling ride, she was attacked by a highwayman, who she fought off with the stick she was using to prod her horse. She rode by herself, all night, covering forty miles. Paul Revere traveled less than half that amount in about two hours.
She arrived home at dawn with the troops all preparing for battle. After the battle was over, George Washington came to her home to thank her.
In 1975 a stamp was issued to honor her.
Other reading on this subject:
Sybil Ludington: The Call To Arms by Vincent Dacquino
Ride For Freedom: The Story Of Sybil Ludington by Judy Hominick & Jeanne Spreier
Can you even fathom that many children needing homes? I first heard about the orphan train riders when I was taking a creative writing course. I started researching and found over 30,000 children lived on the streets of New York in 1850. This was due to the explosion of population in the 1800s . In 1790 the census of New York was 33,131, in 1890 close to one and a half million people crowded into the city. Other cities were also overcrowded.
In 1848, a young minister, Charles Loring Brace, came to study theology and was horrified by the number of children abandoned and starving on the streets. He started classes to teach them trades, opened a home for the newspaper boys and tried to provide meals. This picture from the Children’s Aid Society (which he founded) gives a glimpse of the magnitude of the job.
Rev. Brace had spent time in Europe and witnessed the placing out of children to farms. In 1854, his first train with orphans headed out of the city. Notices were sent to cities and towns, telling of the children coming on the train. Committees were set up to screen applicants. Children were to be treated like members of the family and had the right to refuse an offer. Over the 70 years, Children’s Aid Society, Catholic Charity and others sent over 200,000 children on trains to receive a chance for a better life.
This is one of the trains with the children standing in front and on top. Picture is from Children’s Aid Society.
I was so moved by these children, I used their background for my first two books. The Promise and Oklahoma Bound. These books are Christian historical fiction for ages 9 to 12. You can purchase them at Amazon.com or if you would like an autographed copy send a check or money order in the amount of $14.95 ($11.95 + $3.00 shipping) to Carolyn Johnson, PO Box 311, Arapaho, OK 73620. If you want it personalized please include name.
Other reading on this subject:
We Rode The Orphan Trains by Andrea Warren
Orphan Trains: The Story Of Charles Loring Brace And the Children He Saved And Failed by Stephen O’Connor