Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 10, 2021

The Giant Arc

(5 Minute Read. 10Nov2021)

Something was discovered in the universe this year that casts significant additional doubt on the Big Bang theory. This discovery should not exist if the Big Bang theory were true.

A university student in England — not in Oxford or Cambridge, but in distant Lancashire — made this discovery. The implications are shaking up elite theories of cosmological study like the Big Bang theory. Do you know what this discovery was?

The universe is an endlessly astounding place! Man discovers ever-increasing complexity and intricate structure as he explores the universe.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

How Many Stars?

How many stars are there in the universe? This is a very simple question, but no man alive can answer it. And no man will ever be able to count the stars.

Around 600 BC, at a time when men could count around 4,000 stars with the naked eye, Yahweh told the prophet Jeremiah that the stars could not be counted, there were so many of them.
As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me. (Jeremiah 33:22)

But the Great Creator knows exactly how many stars He made on Creation Day Four about 6,000 years ago. And He individually named each one.
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)
He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:4-5)

A 2010 estimate based on a study by a Yale University astronomer reported
300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe.

Only God knows how many stars are in the unobservable universe. Very possibly there are even more stars burning in the unobservable universe than in the portion we can observe.

Galaxies

Stars are not scattered haphazardly through space. They are grouped and gravitationally bound together in ginormous assemblies called galaxies.

The galaxies God made in a single day 6,000 years ago range from dwarf galaxies with “only” a hundred million (100,000,000) stars to giant galaxies with 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars. Galaxies spin in space as the stars orbit the galaxy’s center of mass. There are about 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe according to a 2021 estimate based on NASA’s New Horizons space probe.

Galaxies are gravitationally bound together in clusters with some galaxies orbiting other galaxies. Galaxy clusters clump together into superclusters. Galaxy superclusters group together to form enormous “sheets” or “walls” with great separating voids between the walls.

Our own Milky Way galaxy contains 100 billion to 400 billion stars. It is about 100,000-200,000 light-years across, where a light-year is the distance light travels in a year. Light travels at 186,000 miles/sec, so a light-year is about 5.87 trillion miles.

Astronomers think the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy. Earth lies on the inner edge of the spiral arm called the Orion Arm, about 27,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s galactic center.

Map of the Milky Way Galaxy
Prepared by Pablo Carlos Budassi for Wikipedia (Click to enlarge.)

The Milky Way is part of a cluster of at least 54 galaxies called the Local Group. The Milky Way is the second-largest galaxy in the Local Group after the Andromeda Galaxy.

In the Local Group, at least 15 satellite galaxies orbit the Milky Way galaxy. Three of these orbiting satellite galaxies are the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

The Milky Way is part of the Virgo Supercluster. This galaxy supercluster contains the Virgo Cluster and the Local Group along with at least 100 other galaxy clusters. The Virgo Supercluster is one of about 10 million galaxy superclusters in the observable universe.

The Virgo Supercluster is a lobe of a cluster of galaxy superclusters called Laniakea.
The Laniakea Supercluster contains 300 to 500 galaxy clusters and over 100,000 galaxies. It is part of the galaxy wall called the Pisces–Cetus Supercluster Complex.

The Giant Arc

The Giant Arc is a recently discovered crescent structure of galaxies and galaxy clusters. It is symmetrical and densely packed with galaxies. It is 3.3 billion light-years long and 9.2 billion light-years away from earth.

The Giant Arc covers about one-fifteenth of the radius of the observable universe. If it were visible in the night sky, it would extend for a length of 20 full moons.

Alexia Lopez, a Ph.D. student in cosmology at the University of Central Lancashire in England, announced her team’s discovery of the Giant Arc at the American Astronomical Society virtual meeting in June 2021. Here is the press release announcing the discovery: Discovery of a Giant Arc in distant space adds to challenges to basic assumptions about the Universe.

The Giant Arc is so large that it cannot be explained with current theories. In particular, the existence of the Giant Arc challenges the Cosmological Principle.

Most astronomers believe in the Cosmological Principle which says that on a sufficiently large scale the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. Homogeneous means that the matter distribution looks the same everywhere; that is, it has the same average density everywhere. Isotropic means the universe looks the same in every direction.

The Cosmological Principle results from a belief in the evolutionary development of the universe from the Big Bang (“Nothing exploded into everything”). If a big bang started the universe, then matter should be evenly distributed.

The Cosmological Principle should not be called a principle because it has not been verified. It should instead be called the Cosmological Assumption or the Cosmological Belief.

The theoretical threshold for the Cosmological Principle’s “sufficiently large-scale” is 1.2 billion light-years. This threshold of 1.2 billion light years is about
7 sextillion miles = 7 x 1021 miles = 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.

The Giant Arc at 3.3 billion light-years long is almost three times the threshold. This discovery has cast doubt on the Cosmological Principle and hence on the Big Bang theory. The reason is that this structure is far larger than the size at which astronomers predict an even distribution of matter. But the Giant Arc clearly does not exhibit such evenness.

The Giant Arc is not the only huge structure in the universe that significantly exceeds the theoretical threshold for the Cosmological Principle’s “sufficiently large-scale” of 1.2 billion light-years.

Here are some of the largest known superstructures in the observable universe that exceed the 1.2 billion light-year threshold of the Cosmological Principle and thereby challenge the Big Bang theory:
– The South Pole Wall (discovered in 2020) is a giant wall of galaxies that extends for 1.37 billion light-years.
– The Sloan Great Wall (discovered in 2003) is a giant wall of galaxies that extends for 1.38 billion light-years.
– The Clowes–Campusano LQG (discovered in 1991) is a large quasar group consisting of 34 quasars and measuring about 2 billion light-years across.
– The Giant Arc (discovered in 2021) is an arc of galaxies and galaxy clusters that spans 3.3 billion light years.
– The Huge Large Quasar Group (discovered in 2012-2013) is a structure of 73 quasars that measures about 4 billion light-years across.
– The Giant GRB Ring (discovered in 2015) is a ring of 9 gamma-ray bursts measuring 5.6 billion light-years in diameter.
– The Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall (discovered in 2013) is the largest-known structure in the observable universe. It measures about 10 billion light-years in length.

These enormous structures have all been discovered within the past three decades, and five of these seven have been only discovered within the last 10 years. They are such huge structures, yet astronomers did not know about them. What an intricate and magnificent universe!

The existence of these huge structures that do not fit the Big Bang theory does not surprise me at all. I am confident that even larger structures and more organization will eventually be discovered. I will not be surprised to learn someday that these great structures are simply filaments of a far larger structure.

Who Did It?

No matter how far out into the universe man peers, he sees order and structures of increasing complexity and magnitude. From where did it all come? Who designed it all? Who made this huge expanse of space in which the galaxies spin and swim? Who made all the stars? Who organized them into so many galaxies? Who arranged the clusters, superclusters, sheets, and walls of galaxies?

Who hung the Milky Way on nothing in space? Who placed multiple galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way?

How did stars, galaxies, clusters, and walls form? No mathematically sound theory exists for an evolutionary formation. To say it all “just happened” is to wimp out on answering these questions.

The answer is that Yahweh, the Almighty Creator God of the Bible, made the universe and all that we see in it. The greatest understatement of all time is this:
He made the stars also. (Genesis 1:16)

The vast immeasurable extent of the universe, the incomprehensibly enormous energy of innumerable stars … all this far surpasses the human mind’s ability to comprehend. They speak of the glory, majesty, and power of the Great Creator.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! . . .
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
(Psalm 8:1,3-4)

Questions to Ponder

1. How can the vastness and complexity of the starry host enrich your worship of Yahweh the Great Creator?
2. What aspect of God’s creative work in making, numbering, naming, and organizing the stars is most awe-inspiring to you?
3. What concrete step can help remind you to keep giving our awesome Great Creator worship and praise?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
The Big Bang!
The Biblical Big Bang!

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 10, 2021 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

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Responses

  1. Bill, as a mathematician, perhaps you can tell me, “what is the smallest ginormous number?”

    One’s intuition might trick one to believe that if a number x is ginormous then the number (x – 1) would also be ginormous. But with a ginormous number of iterations, of this apparently false notion, one quickly induces the result that zero (0) too is ginormous.

    Enjoyed the read.
    God bless all who read your work. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. No, I don’t know the smallest ginormous number. However, I agree with you that the argument that 0 is ginormous is faulty. Here is the logic error: if X is the smallest ginormous number, then X-1 is not ginormous because it is smaller than the smallest ginormous number X.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. How can our pitiful minds comprehend all these amazing facts. Only God…

    Liked by 2 people


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