Ok. I know this is a topic that has had its share of threads. However this one will be a bit different.
I'm going to show you how huge our solar system is, and after that our galaxy and beyond...
I will start with our moon that is in orbit around our planet.
The average distance is about 30 earth's diameters, or 384.300 km / 238.792 mi.
1 pixel is 600 km / 372.822 mi.
But... because of its elliptical orbit it varies between 363.000 km and 405.500 km.
You can compare the earth as big as a basketball and the moon as a
marble with lets say a full American football field in
between, for a good idea about how far that really is.
Image credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Arizona State University
The total surface area of the moon is about as big as the surface of Africa... So although it's one of the biggest moons in the solar system it's
actually quite small.
Our moon dwarfs when you start comparing it with our solar systems neighbors.
Planets compared to Jupiter
Is it not mind boggling ?
Here is another pic. I liked.
And this one is a bit more compete.
In our solar system we use the term AU or astronomical unit. 1 AU is the distance between Earth and the Sun.
There is about 100 AU in between the Sun and Saturn, or 100 times the distance from Earth to the Sun.
Proxima Centauri our closest neighboring star is about 271,000 AU from our sun, or 4.22 light years.
So light needs about 8 minutes to get here. It needs about 4 .22 years to get to Proxima Centauri
These are the closest neighboring stars from our Sun. The diameter starting from our Sun reaches out only 15 light years.
But... It gets more amazing.
You might have learned that our Sun is just a small one classified as a yellow dwarf. The size comparison really blows your mind when you place our
Sun next to other stars... Remember these stars are all found within our own galaxy...
The Sun with planets :
Our Sun next to Sirius...
Arcturus next to Antares...
Antarus isn't even the largest star known to man... There are stars even bigger...
Please... Just one more to look at
Remember these stars are only just stars, and they are part of even more massive places like Nebula's.
The Lagoon Nebula is part of the galaxies inner parts...
CREDIT: ESO/VVV Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
Several planetary Nebula's. These Nebula's are the remnants of stars as they blew out their final layers of gas, leaving only a white dwarf in the
center to fade away eventually.
And some more...
From this point on we move to even bigger Nebula's the so called "Stellar Nurseries"
The Cat's paw Nebula from our own Milky way.
And the Carina Nebula where there have already been stars going hyper nova.
It's also near our own region in the galaxy.
Most famous star in there is Eta Carina which has around 100 times the mass of our Sun and is ready to pop.
The giant dust clouds are from an earlier release of it's solar matter.
Remember... All these stuff is still within our own Milky way...
It sort of looks like this...
Now imagin the Milky way being part of a cluster of galaxies which is also part of a super cluster of galaxies...
Imagine that to be only one of many super clusters and still.... you are only far from imagining the universe its true size...
Hubble focused on a patch of sky no bigger then the surface of stamp on an empty spot in the sky.... What it saw shocked the scientists that were
behind this experiment...
Every dot on that pic. is a galaxy like our own existing of billions of stars and planets. There are thousands on just this one pic of empty sky the
size of a stamp... Imagine that !
edit on 8/16/2011 by Sinter Klaas because: (no reason given)