What do you see in the stars?
At the Senior School Easter chapel service this year, some unexpected images filled the screen. We had travelled to the constellation of Orion and were looking at stars that no longer appeared like stars. The Horse Head nebula splashed colour, shape and beauty before us. The image appeared like art and yet it was created by an infrared telescope. Our guide, Senior astrophysicist, Dr Jennifer Wiseman queried: 'A horse head? Perhaps it looks more like a dragon.' A murmur of agreement emanated from the girls. Yet this was just one stop on our tour through the galaxies. A tour that would take us to the farthest reaches of the known universe.
But what has this to do with Easter? Over the last years at Abbotsleigh, our Easter celebration has been led by students and spoken at by a woman of faith with passion and expertise in a particular field. We have heard from an archaeologist, a writer and this year an astronomer. Dr Wiseman studies the universe through the eyes of one of the world's most sophisticated telescopes - the Hubble Space Telescope. Yet one of her favourite things is to simply get away from the city lights. To find somewhere that in the darkness she can look up and stare at the sky. For her the stars above are not only an area of scientific study, but a reminder of the greatness of the God who created the universe. She shared the words of Psalm 19: 'The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.'
Our guided tour of the heavens entranced us with both the beauty, wonder and unimaginable vastness of the universe. Dr Wiseman then invited us to look in a different way. What if all that we see, and even those parts of the universe beyond our telescopes, were made by the hands of God. But what if there is even more? At Easter, we remember that it was this God who came to be one of us in Jesus. Easter invites us to see the God who creates the vastness of the universe is also the God who draws near to us, becoming one of us, that we might know the vastness of his love. Dr Wiseman's challenge to us was to be discoverers of God's universe, who are guided by him.
Natasha Li, Chapel Prefect, interviews Dr Wiseman
Mr Luke Taylor, Science and Chemistry Teacher, and a team of budding scientists, set the scene.