The story is told that Jupiter came down to earth to assist a couple of  bandits in a bank robbery. However, the two crooks were caught by police.  The judge then sentenced both criminals to fifteen years in prison.  But Jupiter was shocked to also be given a prison term of ten years.  “But your honor, I didn’t take part in the robbery.”  “Yes, but you did help them planet.”

The Kepler Telescope (named after the great 1600s German astronomer Johannes Kepler) is the first space satellite launched for the express purpose of finding similar solar systems (a star with revolving planets) capable of sustaining life outside of our own.  The cylinder-shaped structure is 15 feet long, 9 feet in diameter, weighs 2,300 pounds and can travel up to 6,200 km per hour.  The camera is the largest ever sent into space with a lens width over four-feet (that on earth could take a clear picture of a minute speck of dust on a lighthouse beam glass cover from  a ship out in the ocean – and while the beam is shining).  It costs $600 million to build and was launched in March of 2009 with an expected battery life of four years (two years to reach the end of our solar system and then two years to photograph other solar systems).  But the Kepler Telescope has lasted much longer than anticipated and so far has traveled over 75 million miles, discovering and photographing around 3,700 other solar systems.

And what has been the conclusion of scientists regarding what the photos are telling them? Astrophysicists at the University of Montreal have done the most thorough study and just published their research in The Astronomical Journal.  Here it is.

The Similarities In Other Solar Systems – The planets within each are of the same size, same shape and same material, each one orbiting within the same distance of the other.  As lead researcher Lauren Weiss put it, “They are like peas in a pod”.

Note – For instance, in our solar system, the biggest planet, Jupiter, is 28.5 times larger than the diameter of the smallest planet, Mercury, and the inner planets have large spaces between their orbits.

The Differences In Our Solar System – Another researcher added, “But our oddball solar system, made up of a few small rocky planets in the inner part, with one right in the habitable zone, and a couple of big gas giants in the outer part is exactly what life requires.”

Note – Of course, the fact that our solar system is so unique and unlike all of the rest in the universe will not allow for entertaining the notion that possibly this is all because of a divine design.

The bottom line?  In the Genesis creation account the sun and moon are given 133 words and the stars just 5 words (…he made the stars also).  And in the Psalm 19:1-6 creation marvel (The heavens declare the glory of God…) the sun and moon are highlighted, while the word star is not mentioned even once.  Why is this?  Because God knows that our solar system is something special.  And so in Genesis One we find that – the sun shines and the moon glows, but the stars just twinkle.