Another Epic Sky Show!

Wow! What a year this has been for us! In the fall, we experienced a dazzling annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse during our October 2023 visit with family in New Mexico. Next, and about a month ago, we marveled at a near total solar eclipse here in central Illinois! It was another feeling of déjà vu for us! And to cap it off, this week, we (and millions of others in all fifty states!) were treated once again to another spectacular light show – the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. What color and beauty! This latest show has been more memorable because it has extended into a week-long nightly astronomical pageant.

Locally taken photograph: J. Goss

I am not a scientist, but I do wonder at times how those in this important field of study understand these “sky shows.” A cursory reading around the news coverage assures me that the finest minds have no problem describing this phenomenon in exacting detail. They speak of “solar flares and storms,” “chemical interactions with earth’s magnetic field,” “electrically charged particles,” and “slamming into atoms.” It all sounds… well…like science being science. Coldly analytical, objective and matter of fact!

It sounds like I am trashing science, but I am not. I respect and value scientific inquiry. I just know that science can only go so far. It is not as precise in determining cause or outcomes as we often think it should be. I remember from my school days that the scientific method has five primary steps: ask a question, form a hypothesis, plan an experiment, do the experiment, and analyze the data to draw conclusions. And a sixth step, often necessary, iterate and repeat to generate a sequence of outcomes.

Normandy-Brittany France

I did hear a little uncertainty during one broadcast where the expert analyst postulated that these recent solar sightings “seem” to occur in 11-year cycles. I thought I heard this as well, “We don’t know why.” But I am sure of this comment, “scientists continue to gather data.” And so, the work continues to try and catch up with what God already knows! I speak that conclusion as a person of faith in a great Creator God!

The Scriptures speak pointedly about how God reveals Himself to humankind. “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20, NLT). Every day, God invites us to discover more about Him. We would do well to be “data gatherers” like the scientists. Read the Bible, learn about God’s Son, study the natural order of creation, and be in awe!

Reflecting on this week, I see God doing what God does! He is continually revealing Himself to us. The aurora’s wavy patterns and curtains of light were breathtaking to me! I am in awe of our Divine Designer who paints the night sky from His infinite palette of beautiful colors – greens, pinks, blues, and purples. What a sight! What a God!

Links... Annular Eclipse  Total Eclipse

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


  1. What a God indeed, who could denie this is way of telling us He is in charge. Amen


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