Many years ago, our ancestors thought that human beings and the Earth were the center of the universe. And even to this day, there are some that still maintain that belief. Given a little power, a little authority, and a little money, our egos get the best of us and we tend to believe that we are on top, the alpha, the one. But in the grand scheme of things, we are literally an incredibly small speck. Our planet and our solar system is tiny, and humans are even smaller. The famous saying that “there are more galaxies in the entire Universe than there are grains of sand on the Earth” may be an understatement. We are infinitely small and only a mere speck in the Universe. But does that mean our existence is meaningless?
Even though we don’t play a significant role in the whole of the Universe, there is still something for us. Why are we on this planet? What is our purpose? What can we learn from the short time that we are on this blue and green floating ball? This is just one of the scary and awe-inspiring thoughts about the Universe, space and the human race.
Read on to find out 8 scary yet beautiful things about space and us.
1. Infinitely small is not an idea that one can easily grasp. Our planet is massive in comparison to us. It stores some 7 billion humans and that’s not including all the other mammals, reptiles, insects and other living things we haven’t yet discovered. But Earth isn’t even the biggest planet in our solar system. Planets such as Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter literally dwarf us.
Then we look at the sun in our solar system. It’s about 10 times bigger than Jupiter. Within the Milky Way galaxy there are stars like the sun that are very large. If one of those stars were placed in our solar system it would reach Jupiter. These stars are so big that astronomers can’t even estimate their mass!
But I digress. Within our solar system there are literally trillions of stars (each just like the sun) with at least one planet orbiting around it. And within the Milky Way galaxy, scientists have found 500 other solar systems, and they estimate there are tens of billions more solar systems in our galaxy.
And then there’s our closest neighbor who is a galaxy; the Andromeda galaxy. It contains tens of billions of solar systems, with trillions of stars, each with a solar system, and planets that constitute that solar system. And then beyond the Andromeda galaxy is the Cosmic Web where there are billions of other galaxies just like the Milky Way and Andromeda. So to say that we are infinitely small in this whole Universe would be a massive understatement.
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