Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stars and Bubbles

Astronomers have recently realized that galaxies are distributed in a sort of "frothy" or "bubbly" structure. That is, the large scale structure of the universe can be described as consisting of strings of galaxies with big spaces in between.

A projection of this structure onto the sky of any planet should look highly web-like as well. From these webs, we've created constellations. One of the features that has helped give rise to similar constellations from separate traditions is locality: , the ancient "three stars" asterism from Chinese astrology, matched the belt of the Greek constellation Orion. Within traditions, "guideposts" are also established, creating a coherency to the stellar structures.

Various religious traditions have identified constellations as prophetically or genetically relevant to their beliefs. In 1884, Joseph Seiss laid out his "Gospel In The Stars" system, describing the relevance of the zodiac to Christianity. Authors like John Kotselas will argue that the structures act to justify belief in Christianity. Today, new patterns are identified and the old ones still argued.

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