Friday, November 28, 2008


Check out that picture. That is a panoramic view shot at Yosemite National Park. Here is the fact that boggles my mind-it was shot with a 17-gigapixel camera! Click here to go to the website, where you can see the zoom-able picture in such amazing detail and depth that you can see people on the mountain in the picture's center. The detail is so mind-boggling that you can see what color clothes those people are wearing!

I did a little research, and I found out what a gigapixel is. I have a 5 megapixel camera at home. 1 megapixel is 1,000,000 pixels. 1 gigapixel is 1 billion pixels, so that means a 17-gigapixel camera is 17 billion pixels! I can't even imagine how these are made! How do you place the hardware? And how do you come up with something so detailed that you can see what color pants someone is wearing that is miles and miles away? If mere man can come up with this stuff, it absolutely floors me to think of how big God is!

I get great comfort from some passages in the Bible that speak of just how great God is. One of them is Isaiah 40-

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?...Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

Imagine that! The hollow of the hand was just a cupped hand. God is so big, he can fit all the earth's water in his hand! The span of the hand was the distance between a man's thumb and pinky finger. God simply put his hand up and said, "The universe is this big"! Isaiah went on to say that the each nation on this planet is a drop in the bucket, and is like dust on the scales. How many of us go to the deli to get our ham or cheese, and first ask the person helping us to wipe the dust off the scale so we don't get overcharged? C'mon, for real, who would do that? That little bit of dust doesn't even register! That is how the nations are to God!

In Psalm 147:4, the psalmist said this:

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

That doesn't sound too big if the only stars you know are seen in NYC. Even on a clear night away from light pollution, the stars aren't innumerable. But that's just with the naked eye. God created more than just those stars we can see, after all. And scientists estimate that the number of stars is 10 to the 24th power. That is a 1 with 24 zeros after it! I can't fathom a number that big. Yet, God knows each and every star. But the real shock for me is that that passage says that God gave names to each one! Billions and billions of stars, and God knows each stars name! I have a hard enough time with the names of my 4 kids! "Machaela, stop that!" "I'm not Machaela, I'm Timmy!" In theological terms, this is called God's transcendance. Simply put, it speaks of how huge God really is. It speaks of how far above His creation He is. It transcends human understanding.

But God also in these passages speaks of his immanence. This speaks to the fact that God is inside his creation. Now, that doesn't mean that God is everything, as Hindus believe. It means that God is with us. Sure, He's big enough to create this vast universe, but cares enough about us that He gets right in the middle of our lives! That alone surpasses my mind. God is interested in me! It reminds me of another psalm-

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)

Wow, this God who is so far above us cares enough for us to get right in the middle of our lives. He climbs into your problems, you cares, your worries. I'm reminded of what Jesus did at the tomb of Lazarus. That's when he commanded the stone to be moved on a 4-days dead guy. It stank, but Jesus isn't afraid to go where it stinks. He raised up Lazarus, and showed us the unmatched power he has. And he'll get into your stink, and he'll work his miracles for you!

So, the next time you look at the night sky, imagine just how big God is. But remember that He wants to fit Himself into your life! The God who made everything loves you. Simply amazing to me!

1 comment:

Xtreme_Great said...

My friend,

It is not a 17 gigapixel camera that the photograph has been shot with. In fact, gigapixel cameras don't exist (at least not commercially and if they do, I haven't heard of any. At least no digital camera has that much resolution till date.).

The photograph (panorama) was shot with a much lesser resolution camera (something like 12 or 10 Megapixel one). Many photographs were shot. Then all of them were stitched together using a stitcher software (in this case, Autopano Pro). Then the stitched photograph is of 17 gigapixels and takes a disk space of 96.5 Gigabytes.

Just Google for "How to make panoramas". You'd get an idea.