Good Timing

They were at a star graze and you can be forgiven for asking "A what?" The name suggests a heavenly feeding frenzy of stars but let me try to explain.

We see the moon as a smooth, round sixpence but if you look through a telescope you see mountain peaks sticking up past the edges. A star graze occurs when the moon passes in front of a bright star and the star disappears and reappears from behind the peaks. The idea was to perfectly time each appearance and disappearance to help give an exact profile of the moon.

Some thirty observers with telescopes spread out over several kilometres to watch the star, Spica, graze the mountains of the moon. They had short wave radios to pick up precise time signals and they spoke what they saw into tape recorders so that their observations were accurately timed by the time pips in the background.

The weather was dismal. At the pivotal moment there was nothing but cloud and God did not come into the equation except for one man. He thought, I believe in God so Ill ask Him to help, and he made a silent prayer.

Just as Spica was about to begin its graze, the sky broke and stayed clear for the few minutes needed for the observations. Then the sky closed over again.

At the end of the exercise only about ten had seen the graze. They played their recorders back for everyone to hear all that had taken place. There was some amusement and jesting as the recordings finished and a lone voice came through the speakers, "Thank you, Father."

And out through the distant stars I think I heard the lonely echo, But where are the other nine? Luke 17:17.

Lets thank Him for our today.

Elizabeth Price, Team writer with Just a Minute

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