Sunday, May 20, 2007

Planets, to Scale

Remember that chart in school, with the nine planets in our solar system drawn on it like one happy family? Well, that's a big bullish lie.

On Friday, I read the second chapter of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything while lunching at the Departure Lounge. It was a drone of words compared to the first, but an illustration of how big the universe we live in stood out, which went something like:

"If Earth were the size of a pea, and you tried to draw the surrounding planets to a rough scale, Jupiter would be 300m away, and Pluto (though it's not a planet anymore) would be 2.5km away, the size of a bacterium."

Now that seems pretty far out to me. Also, I learned that our solar system is only a trillionth of the entire universe. What is out there?

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