Space, is rad. There’s no two ways about it. The more you look into it, the more insanely, incomprehensibly amazing it becomes.
Imagine the smallest possible thing you can conceive…you might be thinking things like “an ant” – GO SMALLER! Now you may be thinking “a strand of an ants DNA” – go smaller again, and you may end up thinking about the smallest possible particles that make up that ant….
Now understand this – that indescribably small thing you are thinking of, is the same size and of the same significance as our entire galaxy, when compared to the infinite hugeness of space and our solar system, this world, Venus, Mars, our sun – all of it, is as small, relatively speaking, as the tiniest fraction of the smallest conceivable particle, in our world.
Let me explain this with an “activity” – hahaha, ok that sounds SO Blue Peter, but bear with me.
1) Take a blank, A4 piece of paper and grab a pen or pencil.
2) Spend 5 minutes tapping the nib of your pen on the paper, making thousands of tiny dots all over it. Go nuts with it, the more dots the better!
3) Once your page is covered all over with tiny dots, make some slightly bigger dots on the page…kinda bullet point size.
4) Once you’ve done that, somewhere on the page (anywhere…it doesn’t matter), draw one dot about 4 times the size of the bullet points.
5) Sit back and admire your page…
Now check this out…
Space-scientist-people pointed The Hubble Telescope at a point in space…they opened the lens and kept it pointing in exactly the same direction for FOUR MONTHS!!! Not a micro-second, like a camera, not a minute, like a video – BUT FOR FOUR MONTHS. In this time it soaked up the most enormous amount of light and finally it produced an image, if you zoom in on a tiny part of that overall image (maybe like 1 millionth of it) you get an image similar to what you’ve drawn on your piece of A4 paper.
So does that all make sense? Your piece of paper in front of you is what a tiny fraction of the overall image that the Hubble Telescope collected looks like.
Now, here are the stats that will help you realise the total epicness of space….
1) Look at your page…see every little dot? They kinda look like stars right? WRONG!! What you’re actually looking at there are galaxies! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE DOTS, is an entire galaxy.
2) Each Galaxy (each one of those tiny dots) contains roughly about ONE TRILLION stars! So you know how utterly enormous our sun is? Yeah there’s A TRILLION of those, some way bigger than ours, within every single tiny dot on your page.
3) Each of those trillion stars contains a planetary system similar to ours, like with planets and moons and stuff. Meaning, there are TEN
THOUSAND galaxies x ONE TRILLION stars, which is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000 potential earths.
4) Now, see each of the bigger dots you drew? Each one of those is a galaxy about 4 times the size of the tiny ones (with 4 times the amount of stars and potential earths).
5) See the biggest dot you drew? That’s a galaxy so enormous that science cannot actually explain how it can be so big. Yes, it actually defies the laws of astro-psychics!!!…but it’s there, it’s real, it’s caught on camera and its about 8 times the size of a regular galaxy!!
6) So, what you have on your page is a representation of a number of celestial bodies that is almost impossible to fully comprehend – an amount of planets and stars that makes our solar system roughly the size of the smallest part of the smallest particle, by comparison.
NOW REMEMBER THIS – the picture you’ve drawn on your page represents only the tiniest fraction of the image that The Hubble a Telescope captured. Not only that, but the overall image that The Hubble Telescope captured was only the smallest, most insignificant fraction of overall space – it’s only what it captured in the direction it was looking in. Point a camera at something now, what about the stuff to the left, to the right, behind, behind to the left, behind to the right, and at every tiniest degree all around in every direction.
NOW UNDERSTAND THIS. If every planet, in every solar system, in every Galaxy, in every fraction of our universe contained people, and if every one of those people did the same experiment that you’ve just done, AND THEN if we put all those pieces of paper next to each other to create one incomprehensibly enormous image…the amount of stars, planets, galaxies that that would represent would STILL be only the tiniest fraction of the size of our infinite universe.