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Las Vegas is the ‘Beacon’ of Humanity

Looking at our planet from space, astronauts and satellites tell a story of startling expansion and changes. It is the story of human progress told from a unique perspective. The greatest change can only be seen at night. Vast cities sprawl out in a web of lights. Astronaut Don Pettit explains in a Smithsonian documentary, “From the first time I flew to the last time, the main effect I saw on Earth was at night time, and it was the extent of lighting.”

Astronauts love taking pictures of cites at night. But there’s one city that stands out, not because of its size, color, or shape, but it’s brightness. Pettit says. “I like to refer to Las Vegas, tongue and cheek, as the beacon of humanity ... I don’t know if it’s the brightest city on earth but it is really, really bright.”

With billions of LED lights, and countless billboards and marquees, Vegas generates more light per square mile than any other city on the planet. At the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, a beam of light is projected up into the night sky from the Luxor resort pyramid. Curved mirrors are positioned to collect light from 39 xenon lamps creating a single intense, narrow beam. This one light produces 42 billion candle watts of power. The beam is visible by planes flying over Los Angeles, 275 miles away. It is an unmissable beacon from the heart of the Mojave desert.

Possible Preaching Angle:

It is sad but true that the identifying marks of our modern culture are often its cravings and excesses packaged in bright artificial light. In contrast, Christ, Christians, and churches are the true lights in a very dark world.


Kenny Scott, “Earth from Outer Space,” SmithsonianChannel.com (2018)

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