We on this planet Earth think that we are the only intelligent species and we might be alone in this dark and cold universe but what we never thought is how small we really are. This post will walk you through just that and make you realize that we are just a speck of dust in the Universe and how many possibilities of life are actually out there.
1. This is the Earth! And even here you are just a dot.
2. And this is where you live in your neighborhood, the Solar System.
3. Here’s the distance, to scale, between the Earth and the moon. Doesn’t look too far, It’s actually 384,400 km.
4. THINK AGAIN. Inside that distance you can fit every planet in our solar system, nice and neat.
5. But let’s talk about planets. That little green smudge is North America on Jupiter.
6. And here’s the size of Earth (well, six Earths) compared to Saturn:
7. And just for good measure, here’s what Saturn’s rings would look like if they were around Earth:
8. Between our planets and those planets are a ton of comets. We just landed on one of those bad boys. Here’s what one looks like compared to Los Angeles:
9. But that’s nothing compared to our sun. Just remember:
10. Here’s you from the Moon:
11. Here’s you from Mars:
12. Here’s you from just behind Saturn’s rings:
13. And here’s you from the edge of the solar system:
To paraphrase Carl Sagan, everyone and everything you have ever known exists on that little speck.
14. Let’s step back a bit. Here’s the size of Earth compared to the size of our sun. Terrifying, right?
The sun doesn’t even fit in the image.
15. And here’s that same Sun from the surface of Mars:
16. But that’s nothing. Again, as Carl once mused, there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth:
17. Which means that there are ones much, much bigger than little wimpy Sun. Just look at how tiny and insignificant our Sun is:
Our Sun probably gets its lunch money stolen.
18. Here’s another look. The biggest star, VY Canis Majoris, is 1,000,000,000 times bigger than our Sun:
19. But none of those compares to the size of a galaxy. In fact, if you shrunk the Sun down to the size of a white blood cell and shrunk the Milky Way Galaxy down using the same scale, the Milky Way would be the size of the United States:
20. That’s because the Milky Way Galaxy is huge. This is where you live inside there:
21. But this is all you ever see:
22. But even our galaxy is a little runt compared to some others. Here’s the Milky Way compared to IC 1011, 350 million light years away from Earth:
Just THINK about all that could be inside there.
23. But let’s think bigger. In JUST this picture taken by the Hubble telescope, there are thousands and thousands of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, each with their own planets.
24. Here’s one of the galaxies pictured, UDF 423. This galaxy is TEN BILLION light years away. When you look at this picture, you are looking billions of years into the past.
Some of the other galaxies are thought to have formed only a few hundred million years AFTER The Big Bang.
25. And just keep this in mind — that’s a picture of a very small, small part of the universe. It’s just an insignificant fraction of the night sky.
26. And, you know, it’s pretty safe to assume that there are some black holes out there. Here’s the size of a black hole compared to Earth’s orbit, just to terrify you:
So if you’re ever feeling upset about your favorite show being canceled or the fact that they play Christmas music way too early… just remember…
This is what happens when you zoom out from your home, to your solar system.
And this is what happens when you zoom out farther…
Just a little bit farther…
And here it is. Here’s everything in the observable universe, and here’s your place in it. Just a tiny little ant in a giant jar.
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Still not blown away? Then you have to see this one… Round 2.