If you've been on the internet the last few days, you've probably seen this image. It's a brand new picture of a tiny, tiny part of the observable universe, equal to a "grain of sand held at arm's length." Each one of those tiny little things is its own GALAXY.
1.But let's back up for a second. This is the Earth! This is where we live.
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, does it?
THINK AGAIN. Inside that distance you can fit every planet in our solar system, nice and neatly.
22.Here's another look. The biggest star we have observed, VY Canis Majoris, is 1,000,000,000 times bigger than our sun:
23.But none of those compares to the size of a galaxy. In fact, if you shrank 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:
24.That's because the Milky Way galaxy is huge. This is where you live inside there:
By the way, the Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across:
25.But even our galaxy is a little runt compared with some others. Here's the Milky Way compared to IC 1011, 350 million light-years away from Earth:
26.But let's think bigger. Here's another picture with thousands and thousands of galaxies in it. This picture, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, contains millions of stars, each with their own planets.
27.Here's one of the galaxies pictured, UDF 423. This galaxy is 10 BILLION light-years away. When you look at this picture, you are looking billions of years into the past.
28.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.
So just remember...
This is your home.
29.This is what happens when you zoom out from your home to your solar system.
30.And this is what happens when you zoom out farther...
33.Just a little bit farther...
35.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.