You Are Much Smaller Than This Pixel

And now for some much-needed perspective on our place in the universe, courtesy of science and Photoshop. In this image, we see our fiery life-giving orb the Sun, represented as a single pixel. And this is the more flattering picture.

The sun, as the story goes, is a mass of incandescent gas; a gigantic nuclear furnace. With a diameter of 1.4 million km, or 109 times the diameter of our planet, it's an incredibly massive thing. A mind-bogglingly enormous ball of hydrogen and helium, powerful enough to brighten our days and provide us with warmth, yet still discreet enough to leave us alone each day long enough for us to catch a little shut-eye.

It seems big to us, but in relation to the rest of the universe? It is but a pixel.

Click on the image below to check out the big picture.

We used to classify the Sun as a middle-sized star, but recent advances in telescopic imaging technology place us on tinier side of the spectrum. Hell, scientists have seen stars 90 times the size of our sun shooting through the universe as if launched by a slingshot. Compared to that, our Sun is nothing.

And if our sun is nothing, in the grand scheme of things, what does that make us?

But hey, cheer up! It's the weekend, and I've just given you something depressing to think about while you're out drinking with your friends. Just remember, friends don't let friends ponder their relative insignificance to the universe and drive.

[Picture found on Flickr via Digg]


Comments

    And according to this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_known_stars, Antares is still less than half the size of the largest known star VY Canis Major. That could be 2100 times the magnitude of the sun.

    Nice They Might Be Giants reference.

    Wallpaper'd

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