A Matter of Scale

Note: this post was first published on Feb. 22, 2011. I’m reposting it again today because 1. the video creator has since updated the soundtrack, and 2. it’s still awesome. One of the things that fascinates me so much about the Universe is the incredible vastness of scale, distance and size. On Earth we have…

Our Galaxy Isn’t As Big As You Think It Is

Think the Milky Way is a big place? Think again — check out this graphic by Arecibo astrophysicist Rhys Taylor, which neatly illustrates the relative sizes of 25 randomly-selected galaxies using images made from NASA and ESA observation missions. It even includes a rendering of our own remarkably mundane galaxy at the center for comparison….

How Big Is The Solar System?

“You may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” – Douglas Adams Standard classroom models and textbook illustrations of the Solar System, regardless of how pretty they are, all share one thing in common: they’re wrong. Ok, maybe not wrong, but definitely inaccurate… especially in regards…

How Big is a CME?

This big! The M1.7-class flare that erupted from active region 1461 on Monday, April 16 let loose an enormous coronal mass ejection many, many times the size of Earth — and I for one was glad that our planet was safely tucked out of aim at the time… and 93 million miles away! Read more here.

A Matter of Scale

One of the things that fascinates me so much about the Universe is the incredible vastness of scale, distance and size. On Earth we have virtually nothing to compare to the kinds of sizes seen in space. We look up at the stars and planets in the night sky but they are just bright points…

A Sense of “Scale”

Here’s a very cool animation by motion designer Brad Goodspeed, showing what our night sky might look like were some of the other planets in our solar system at the same distance from us as the Moon. (About 240,000 miles / 384,000 km.) Wait for Jupiter to make quite an entrance… While watching the video…

Spotlight on the Sun

This month, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory focuses on our solar system’s real superstar: the sun! The video below highlights historical observations of the sun and shows some recent robotic missions that have brought back groundbreaking data about our celestial sovereign. The photo illustration above approximates the comparative size of the sun to our planet Earth….