ver taken the time to consider the size of the universe as a whole? All things great and small are impressive enough to have your mind blown — because there are numerous wonders to find.
Think about the Milky Way, which has an equatorial diameter of about 621,000,000,000,000,000 miles, but all of our home — Earth — is a miserly 7,926 miles. When we compare what we are aware of to the parts we don’t even know, we see that our universe is vast, and our knowledge infinitesimal.
Research does prove that there are extreme benefits to experiencing the awesomeness of the globe. When you take the time to feel smaller — especially in comparison with the size of the universe around you — you tend to feel less stressed and a bit happier.
Do you want to give it a try? Here are five facts that make our universe unique in its enormousness.
“IF YOUR EGO STARTS OUT, ‘I AM IMPORTANT, I AM BIG, I AM SPECIAL,’ YOU’RE IN FOR SOME DISAPPOINTMENTS WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND AT WHAT WE’VE DISCOVERED ABOUT THE UNIVERSE. NO, YOU’RE NOT BIG. NO, YOU’RE NOT. YOU’RE SMALL IN TIME AND IN SPACE.”Neil deGrass Tyson, Astrophysicist, Author, and Science Communicator
In 1995, NASA found the first planet beyond our solar system. It was an unprecedented discovery, but in the 25 years after, thousands of exoplanets orbiting sun-like stars have been found.
Our sun is brilliant, yes, but it is only one of at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way alone. Moreso, scientists estimate about 100 billion galaxies in the observable parts of the universe. Each galaxy has its own set of stars sometimes much larger than the sun. Plus the grains of sands you’d find on all of Earth’s beaches are not as many as the stars in the universe.
The Milky Way
If you were to travel at the speed of light (or the speed of Flash), you couldn’t travel the Milky Way — where our solar system is located — during the lifespan of any human. That’s right; it will take 200,000 human years to travel across the huge city of stars that make up our galaxy.
Dark Matter & Dark Energy
Did you know that about 70% of the universe is dark energy, while dark matter makes up 25%? That makes a whopping 95%! Certainly, leaves you wondering where everything else fits in?
Here’s where — everything observable, Earth and everything in it, beyond Earth, and all normal matter are barely a miserly 5% of the universe.
Most people know that we, the Earth, are dwarfed by our star, the sun. If the sun was just about the size of a typical six-foot door, Earth would resemble a nickel right next to it.
Our sun accounts for just about every bit of mass in our solar system, save 0.2% — which all the plants and everything else shares between themselves. Also, about one million Earths would fit into our sun comfortably. Yeah, you read that right.
“THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY IS A HISTORY OF RECEDING HORIZONS.”Edwin Hubble, Astrophysicist
Astrophysicist Edwin Hubble discovered in the 1920s that the universe is expanding, and it is even till now. But what is most interesting is that about 14 billion years ago, the universe and all that it is were all collected at a single point. Can you imagine all that vastness in a single point?
The size of the universe is massive when it ‘s compared to us. But it may be incredibly small when compared to something else. The answer to the mystery of the universe will never be answered but will instead serve as a point of quiet contemplation for humanity until the end of time.