Friday, May 05, 2006

The True Universal Giants

Have I told you how much I love astronomy. I think that the expanse of space is spectacular. We are so small and tiny compared to what is all out there, and to think how much smaller molecules or even atoms, (or even the quarks that make up the atoms for that matter, no pun intended) they are compared to us. How big is the Earth? Well, if you were going the speed of light, which is 300,000,000 meters in one second, you could travel around the earth a little over seven times in one second. Light traveling from the sun to the Earth takes about eight minutes. That's quite the distance. Jupiter's orbit is about 5 times the diameter of Earth's orbit around the sun. Now, that you have a sense of scale, check out the size of that star in the picture (ignore the "click to enlarge"). That is a picture of Betelguese, a red giant star in the constalation Orion. The diameter of the star nearly exceeds the diameter of Jupiter's orbit around the sun. WOW and I mean WOW! It amazes me how big things are out there, and that is only one star out of billions in our galaxy. Feeling small and insignifigant yet? Me too.


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