Scale of the Universe

The Universe is big, but how big is it? One answer can be that it is infinite, so can’t be measured; which is true. The Universe is so big that in the past 13.8 billion years, light from distant galaxies hasn’t even reached us! If we talk in terms of the observable universe, that is measuring the furthest points in the space which we can see, the universe measures 93 billion light years across (8.79829142 × 1023 kilometres)! Our Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across!
Before we discuss more on the scale of the Universe, how far do you think, is the Earth from the Sun?

How far is the Earth from the sun?

If Sun was the size of a football, then Earth would be about the size of a pea. So how far do you think they would be?

Sun and Earth

I will hold the football (sun), you take the pea (earth). You might need to close your eyes and just imagine me holding the football in my hands. Let’s assume that I am at the center spot of a football field with the football. Now, you, with the pea (Earth) with you, recede from me, and stop where ever you think the earth is. How far are we? An arms length? 2 meters? or maybe 5? Or maybe the Center Circle if you’re pushing it?

Sport-Soccer-Football-Field-DimensionsNot even close! At this scale, you would roughly be holding the pea (Earth) at the 18 yard penalty box! It would be very difficult for me to see the pea sized Earth at such a distance! Mars will not be any bigger than a peppercorn. Jupiter, would be slightly smaller than a golf ball about 1.5 football pitches away!

Now look at the picture below, which tells you your address! You might have to click the image to see it fully.

“Earth’s Location in the Universe (JPEG)” by Andrew Z. Colvin – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

If there was intelligent life on any exoplanet, and hypothetically they were to send you a physical mail, then apart from your postcode and country, they would also have to include Earth, Solar System, Solar Interstellar neighbourhood, Milky Way, Local Galactic group, Virgo Supercluster, Local supercluster in your address for the post to reach you.

Thank you for reading, I will leave you with this a rap video to explain the ‘Scale of Universe’. This song is shot at European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), by Brady Haran, a video journalist for Sixty Symbols channel. The song is by Dave Lens feat. ViHart.

Leave your comments and let me know what you would like to discuss! Next post on ‘What’s wrong with Gravity?!’


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