Our Planet

The Size Of Earth Compared to Other Planets and Stars (and the Universe)


When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with the really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” the space (we are far, far away from that - and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth, as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.

But we can try to understand and conceptualize. To put things into a perspective, youtube user morn1415 prepared a video (he updated a previous video with the new findings in the astronomy).

Some objects in the video:

Earth vs Kepler 10c vs Neptune
Size comparison of Earth with Kepler-10 c (middle) and Neptune (right)
Sirius in the sky
How to find Sirius in the sky? Since it's the brightest star in the Earth's sky, Sirius is always easy to find. Anyone familiar with the constellation Orion can simply draw a line through Orion's Belt, to the left. This line will point to Sirius, which is roughly 8 times as far from the Belt as the Belt is wide. Most people in the Northern Hemisphere notice Sirius in the southeast - south - or southwest on evenings from winter to mid-spring. February evenings are a great time to see it. You can also spot Sirius as it ascends in the east before dawn on late summer mornings.
Arcturus in the sky
How to find Arcturus in the Sky? First locate the Big Dipper asterism in the northeastern sky. In the northern United States, Canada or at a similar latitude, the Big Dipper is circumpolar for you – always above the horizon. The white box on the left shows the Big Dipper's location at around midnight in these seasons. It ascends in the northeast on spring evenings, and descends in the northwest on fall evenings. The basic rule to remember is "spring up and fall down". Then draw an imaginary line following the curve in the Big Dipper's handle until you come to a bright orange star. This star is Arcturus.
Aldebaran in the sky
How to find Aldebaran in the sky? In the late autumn, look to the eastern sky. Find Auriga, and draw an imaginary line following the line between two stars in the bottom. You’ll see a bright orange star, it is Aldebaran. For the Northern Hemisphere, the presence of Capella and Aldebaran in the eastern evening sky signals that autumn is here and waning toward the winter season. They will climb upward throughout the evening hours, to reach their high point for the night an hour or two past the midnight hour. Auriga is one of the 88 modern constellations; it was among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy. Located north of the celestial equator, its name is the Latin word for "charioteer", associating it with various mythological charioteers, including Erichthonius and Myrtilus. Auriga is most prominent during winter evenings in the northern Hemisphere, along with the five other constellations that have stars in the Winter Hexagon asterism. Because of its northern declination, Auriga is only visible in its entirety as far as 34° south; for observers farther south it lies partially or fully below the horizon. A large constellation, with an area of 657 square degrees, it is half the size of the largest constellation, Hydra. Its brightest star, Capella, is an unusual multiple star system among the brightest stars in the night sky, the sixth-brightest in the night sky and the third-brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere, after Arcturus and Vega. Pleiades or Seven Sisters (Messier 45 or M45), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.
Antares in the sky
How to find Antares in the sky? In the northern hemisphere, if you look southward in early evening from late spring to early fall, you’re likely to notice the fishhook pattern of Scorpius (Scorpion), with Antares at its heart.