The Scale of the Universe


When the word “Astronomy”, maybe because many people have not studied it in depth, but people do not realize the absolute colossal size Universe or the Celestial Bodies contained within it. Although astronomy is a hard topic to grasp on here are some facts to make it easier for you to understand astronomy.

First, the Solar System. Did you know that the distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 93 million miles, away, and that it would take about 9,300 years traveling at 10,000 mph (about 2 miles per second) to reach the Sun. Now think about one of the farther celestial bodies such as Uranus, Pluto, Farout (2018 VG18), etc. It would take thousands of of years to reach them, the satellites that have made it out to the outer solar system, are traveling at extreme speeds, like Voyager 2, which is traveling at speeds nearly 36,000 miles an hour!

Think of meteors. Perhaps, you might think of them as somewhat small, the biggest asteroid you would normally think of probably comes from Star Wars, spoiler alert, even the big asteroids in Star Wars are tiny compared to the real things, there are some smaller ones, even the size of the Star Wars version, but the big ones, like 16 Psyche, which is about 140.43 miles in diameter, it would take about 2 hours to drive around at highway speeds. Did you know it is completely made up of metal.

If you think these thing are big, you may want to know, we have not even scratched the surface, take the Sun for example, it is pretty big compared to the Earth. But there are many other larger masses than the Sun such as VY Canis Majoris, which is 1.2277 billion miles in diameter. Keeping in mind that VY Canis Majoris, is the largest star we have ever found, there are millions more hypergiants like it though, but just in case you still don’t quite understand the scale of these celestial bodies think of it like this, if you were to replace the Sun with VY Canis Majoris, its border would extend out past JUPITER!!!!!!

While this sounds huge (which it is), there is still bigger things out in the universe, much bigger actually, the biggest celestial bodies being black holes. Black holes can get pretty small, the smallest one being only 15 miles in diameter, like most of the black holes, it does not have a name, more like a label such as XTE-J1650-500. Now you’re probably wondering how big they can get, well the supermassive black hole TON 618 is the biggest black hole ever found. As in this black hole is about 66 BILLION TIMES THE MASS OF THE SUN!!!!!!!!!!

Those are some of the individual objects in space, now take a look at the largest galaxy ever found, IC 1101, which has a diameter of 391,380,000 light years and for anyone who does not know one light years is about 5,880,000,000,000 miles.

Here’s a question to ponder. How fast would you have to go to make it from one side of IC 1101 to the other in your lifetime? Well assuming that this is a lifelong trip from the day you were born to the day you die, averaging around 79 years, you would have to be going about 9.36553562e-10 miles every zeptosecond (0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001 of a second) to make from one side of IC 1101 to the other.

391,380,000 light years is a lot, but from what we have seen the universe is about 93 billion (93,000,000,000) light years in diameter, making IC 1101 just 0.0042% of the observable universe, and there is no reason for it to stop there, theoretically, space stretches to infinity beyond the universe, making it possible for a multiverse to exist.