Thursday, July 14, 2011

The universe is not just "big" - Think again

adj. big·ger, big·gest
Of considerable size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent; large.

Calling the universe just "big" would really be a joke. The universe is not big, the universe is SO humongous that not even the light that we see managed to reveal it all yet, and the light has been traveling at 299 792 458 m/s since the beginning of times, that's roughly about 13 billion years, as we can see in the pic.

(Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team for the picture)

With that said, not only the universe has this incredible size, but also the planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, etc have all different sizes and mass. Do you want to make yourself an idea about it? Take a look at this, click on the image, because ironically it is too big even for this blog!

Our earth isn't even worth a single grain of sand in the universe, oh! Since we are talking about sand here, did you know that there are more planets in the known universe than all the grains of sand of all the beaches in the planet earth? That is amazing.

Our planet Earth is so small that the sun wouldn't notice our presence even if we happened to collide with the star, yes, we are that small.

Being small, though, doesn't make the sun big. In fact, the sun's size is nothing too amazing compared to what you can actually find out there in the universe:

Our star is just a little dot there, like the Earth is to our sun!

We have spoken "only" (super obligatory quotation marks) about planets, galaxies and stars here. Have you ever heard of super massive black holes? Well, let me just tell you that it is the biggest type of black hole in a galaxy (we still do not know what we could find somewhere in the universe out there, we cannot exclude that somewhere an even bigger type of black hole can be found!) in the order of hundreds of thousands to billions of solar masses! The black holes are believed to be in the center of almost every single galaxy in the universe, and their gravitational power is so strong that they can keep togheter galaxies all by themselves. There is supposedly even one in the center of our own galaxy, it doesn't sound too reassuring doesn't it? Some galaxies even have two super massive black holes at their center in a binary system, which is amazing.

Do you think that our Milky Way galaxy is big? You should take a look at this:

(This clip was taken from the show 'How The Universe works' - Discovery Channel)

Do you guys still think that when driving for 1-2 hours with your car, or taking a 4-5 hours train or even a 12 hours flight to the other side of the world with a plane you are covering a long distance? Well, you are not. Think again.


  1. Yeah the universe is a massive place, far beyond our eye can see.

  2. It completely blows my mind how infinitely expansive the universe really is. I saw a cool gif one time comparing the sizes of things known, but there is still soooo much we don't know.

  3. Yeah I don't even try to comprehend the size, it really its just unfathomable

  4. I think most educated people realize all this. Most people should know this all by high school. So it should come as no surprise


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