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The Scale of the Known Universe

If you enjoyed seeing the size of our Earth in True Perspective, you may like seeing the shape of our universe itself. It really made me think about our own place in the universe. I started looking for more information and I ended up finding these great pictures that showed even more details about our solar system, the planets, our galaxy, and the universe as we know it. I hope you’ll like this deeper look into the amazing creation around us.

Planet Earth - our home

The Universe
Source: NASA

Our solar system - "Sol"

The Universe
Source: NASA

The distance between the Earth and the moon (to scale)

The Universe
Source

Amazingly, we can fit all of the planets in the solar system in that distance...

The Universe
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The size of North America, to scale with Jupiter

The Universe
Source

The length of Saturan's rings is six times the size of Earth...

The Universe
Source: NASA

If Earth had rings like Saturn, this is how the sky would look like in different parts of the world:

The Universe
Source

You may have heard that the European Space Agency landed a probe called 'Rosetta' on the Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet. This is that comet, to scale with Los Angeles:

The Universe
Source

The size of the Sun compared to the rest of the planets:

The Universe
Source

The Earth, as seen from our moon - Luna:

The Universe
Source: NASA

And this is what the Earth looks like from Mars:

The Universe
Source: NASA

And that little blue dot is us, as seen from Saturn's orbit:

The Universe
Source: NASA

That tiny little speck is the Earth, as seen from 4 billion miles away...

The Universe
Source: NASA

Remember the size of Earth, compared to the sun?

The Universe
Source

This is what a sunrise looks like on Mars:

The Universe
Source: NASA

As huge as the sun is, in the universal scale - it's actually tiny. When put next to YV Canis Majoris (one of the largest known stars), it seems smaller than a speck of dust. YV Canis Majoris is 1419 times bigger than the sun!

The Universe
Source

Now see how small the Earth is compared to it:

The Universe
Source

If you want another scale, imagine the sun is the size of a human white blood cell. Now, staying on that scale - the Milky Way galaxy would be the size of the United States - that's almost incomprehensible.

The Universe
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And if you ever wondered - this is where our solar system is in the Milky Way:

The Universe
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Despite that, this is all you ever see with the naked eye:

The Universe
Source

Now, let's increase the scale - this is the size of our galaxy, compared to other known galaxies:

The Universe
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Now, let's get REALLY BIG - every light you see in this picture is a galaxy. Each galaxy contains hundreds of millions of stars and solar systems. Incredible!

The Universe
Source

This is galaxy UDF 423, you can see it in the bottom-right part of the picture above. UDF 423 is about 10 billion light years away from earth, meaning that the light needed 10 billion years to get from it to here. What you see is what this galaxy looked like 10 billion years ago!

The Universe
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Now, just to up the ante - the image of the galaxies above was taken from this tiny, seemingly starless spot in the sky:

The Universe
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You must have heard of "Black Holes", right? Well, in the center of galaxy NGC 1277 there is a supermassive black hole. If you need to know what "supermassive" means, look at its scale, compared to Earth's orbit around the Sun:

The Universe
Source

So lets have a final recap - This is Earth, our home:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is our solar system:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is our solar neighborhood - these are just the solar systems in our part of the galaxy:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is where our neighborhood resides in the Milky Way Galaxy:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is the Milky way in its local galactic group:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is our galactic group in what is known as the "Virgo Supercluster" - the local cluster of galaxies in our small part of the universe:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

This is where the Virgo Supercluster is located in the local supercluster neighborhood:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

And this is the universe - as far as modern technology allows us to see:

The Universe
Source: Andrew Z. Colvin

It's a big universe out there...

H/T: buzzfeed.com  

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Related Topics: science, earth, space, physics, stars
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