Comprehending the size of the universe

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Krem, Aug 14, 2010.

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  1. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    ..is inhuman. It's impossible for us. When we try to comprehend the size of space, we rarely see anything larger than our solar system, if that. Hell, most can't even comprehend the size of their continent compared to themselves.

    Hell, the largest sun we know of, Canis Majoris, is 1800-2100 times the size of the sun, which is roughly 109 times the size of our little blue planet Earth. Which has a radius of about about 6400 KM. That's 6400000 meters. Which means that it'd take 73143 people, if each is 175 CMs, to go from one end to the other, straight through. 73 thousand people.

    If Canis Majoris would replace our sun, it would extend beyond Saturn, the 6th planet from the sun. That's a hell of a distance. Our solar system, if you end it at Pluto, would then have a radius of 7,375,927,931 KM. Yes, that's 7000 millions. Look at http://learn.uci.edu/media/OC08/11004/OC0811004_VarWithDistance.jpg if you need visual aid.

    If the Earth were to be represented by a sphere one centimeter in diameter, the Sun would be represented as a sphere with a diameter of 109 centimeters, at a distance of 117 meters. At these scales, VY Canis Majoris would have a diameter of approximately 2.3 kilometers.

    One light-year is 9,460,730,472,581 KM. That's 28% longer than our solar system.

    Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years wide, and 1,000 light years thick.

    Our local group, which contains 30 galaxies, and is 4 million light years wide.

    Our local supercluster, the Virgo supercluster, has at least 100 galaxy groups and clusters, and is 150 million light-years wide.

    The OBSERVABLE universe, which is the part of the universe we can see because light has had time to come here, is roughly 93 billion light-years in diameter.

    For more visual aid, look at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/Universe_Reference_Map_(Location)_001.jpeg and http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/525347

    If we could comprehend even a fraction of the size of the observable universe, it'd probably be like going into the Total Perspective Vortex.
    "When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, 'You are here.'"
     
  2. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Fascinating topic Krem. Thanks for that nice bit of mental stimulation =P

    It always fascinates me how small we are within this realm of existence, not only physically but in terms of our mental ability to even grasp any of it. No matter what instruments we develop or how far we may eventually explore, we'll never truly comprehend the scale of it all.
     
  3. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Really awesome thread, thanks for posting. I have always loved trying to wrap my head around those distances... thinking from the smallest possible particles all the way up to the entire universe is unbelievable. Then thinking of the possibilities of infinite universes and my brain starts to turn to mush and ooze out of my ears :)
     
  4. johnnysays

    johnnysays Well-Known Member

  5. Little_me

    Little_me Well-Known Member

    We are the first living creatures on Earth to face these facts about the universe, so that our brains are incapable to fully comprehend is not surprising.
     
  6. Decode

    Decode Well-Known Member

    Some nice facts thanks, i've not really looked at Canis Majoris much so that was cool. If you like to read about this type of stuff i would recommened "Michio Kaku - Parallel Worlds" its a great book. I find fasinating the list of things that balance to allow us to exist. Amazing.
     
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