1. This is the Earth. This is where we live.
2. And this is where we live in our neighborhood, the solar system.
3. Here’s the distance, to scale, between the Earth and the moon. Doesn’t look too far, does it?
4. However, inside that distance every planet in our solar system can be fit, nice and neatly.
5. But let’s talk about planets. That little green smudge is North America on Jupiter.
6. And here’s the size of Earth (well, six Earths) compared with Saturn:
7. And just for good measure, here’s what Saturn’s rings would look like if they were around Earth:
8. This right here is a comet. Here’s what one looks like compared with Los Angeles:
9. But that’s nothing compared to our sun.
10. Here’s us from the moon:
11. Here’s us from Mars:
12. Here’s us from just behind Saturn’s rings:
13. And here’s us from just beyond Neptune, 4 billion miles away.
To paraphrase Carl Sagan, everyone and everything you have ever known exists on that little speck.
15. And here’s that same sun from the surface of Mars:
16. But that’s nothing. Again, as Carl once mused, there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth:
17. Which means that there are ones much, much bigger than little wimpy sun. Just look at how tiny and insignificant our sun is:
18. Here’s another look. The biggest star, VY Canis Majoris, is 1,000,000,000 times bigger than our sun:
19. But none of those compares to the size of a galaxy. In fact, if you shrank the sun down to the size of a white blood cell and shrunk the Milky Way galaxy down using the same scale, the Milky Way would be the size of the United States:
20. That’s because the Milky Way galaxy is huge. This is where we live inside there:
22. But even our galaxy is a little runt compared with some others. Here’s the Milky Way compared to IC 1011, 350 million light years away from Earth:
23. But let’s think bigger. In JUST this picture taken by the Hubble telescope, there are thousands and thousands of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, each with their own planets.
24. Here’s one of the galaxies pictured, UDF 423. This galaxy is 10 BILLION light years away. When we look at this picture, we are looking billions of years into the past.
Some of the other galaxies are thought to have formed only a few hundred million years AFTER the Big Bang.
25. That’s a picture of a very small, small part of the universe. It’s just an insignificant fraction of the night sky.
26. It’s pretty safe to assume that there are some black holes out there. Here’s the size of a black hole compared with Earth’s orbit:
Fabio Evagelista is a Brazilian writer.
Crossed Paths is the first book of the Myra-Hati trilogy, an epic adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, for the lovers of sci-fi / fantasy genre. This is the author’s first work published in America.