Friday, April 10, 2009

Trying to wrap my head around enormous scales.

My 3-year old is obsessed with outer-space. So, we watch a fair number of educational shows on the universe. It sounds really obvious, but the scale of the universe is rather hard to wrap your head around. Some of my favorite facts that demonstrate the vastness of the universe:

  • It takes about 100,000 years for light to pass from one end of an average galaxy to another.
  • Yet, if each galaxy were the size of a pea, the number of galaxies would fill a basketball arena.
  • There are as many stars in the universe as grains of sand on all of Earth's beaches.

(By the way, based on all of these facts the emerging conventional wisdom is that the likelihood of intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the universe is around 100%.)

Anyhow, I feel the same way about this video as I do contemplating the vastness of space. Simply staggering.

ADDENDUM: Here is a cool depiction of what a trillion dollars looks like in $100 bills, and here is what the national debt looks like in $100 bills.

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