How Crazy Can It Get?

You are an Insignificant Speck…

subscribetomyblog7A long time ago someone sent me this email. After reading it, I really felt humbled beyond words. Even after looking at the images, the scope of the volumes of these things just boggles my mind. I have ripped the images out of the email and will attempt to incorporate them into this blog. They might be hard to read, but you can click on the images to enlarge them.

We live of the planet Earth. It feels like a pretty big place to be.  Here’s how it compares to some of the other inner planets:


You can see we are bigger than our nearest neighbors, Mars, Venus and Mercury as well as Pluto which has been demoted to a new class – a “Dwarf Planet” and more specifically – a “Plutoid.” It is the smallest body in the slide. Now, in the next slide we will see some more planets. The ones in the image above will also be in that image to allow you to fathom the scale and how the very smallest object in the above image compares to the very biggest in the next.

Jupiter counters

Look at the first row of planets (and Pluto) and compare the size to the next row containing Uranus and Neptune.  Then compare those to Jupiter and Saturn. You knew they are bigger, but did you realize just how much? The Earth is the size of a marble compared to the basketvall sized Jupiter. Are you feeling small yet? Let’s compare all this to our sun, the object which all these others orbit. The next image shows the Sun in comparison to these planets. Yes, you really are small.


Here are all the planets (and Pluto) shown in comparative scale to our sun. The Earth is speck, and now Jupiter is marble sized in contrast to the basketball sized Sun. Amazingly, you are not small enough. You will shrink even more. In the next image Arcturus, the third brightest star in the night sky is compared to our sun.


This is really amazing. When we set the scale so that Arcturus is the size of a basketball our sun is the size of a marble. A small marble at that. You may not be able to read the image, but it says that at this scale Juptier is visible. It is about one pixel in size. In this image the Earth cannot be represented. It is smaller than the smallest dot used to make the image. You are not just small. You are seriously small. You are smaller than a speck of dust in the cosmic scheme of things. Did you think Arcturus was the biggest thing? There is one more image to show. You are going to shrink some more. How small can you go? How big can something be and still be a single thing? Mind boggling. In this last image we see Antares.


It’s here in our Milky Way galaxy. And while it’s so big, it isn’t so bright. Big and dumb? Well, that’s not exactly what I meant. It’s about the 16th brightest star in the night sky, but it is huge. It’s  a red supergiant. And while it may be in the class of stars that are the most voluminous, it is not the class that is the most massive. One this scale, where Antares is the size of a basketball, Arcturus is marble sized. And our sun is just one pixel. Do you feel small now?

Here is another way to look at it. In the image below Antares is compared to Arcturus and our sun. And the dotted black line, inside of Antares is the orbit of Mars. So, if our sun was the size of Antares there would be no Mercury, Venus, Earth or Mars. They all fall within bounds of the sun. And someday, some 5 billion years hence, this may be the fate of our Earth.


And in video format – thanks to Mandy for finding this one!



27 responses

  1. Dan

    All you have to do to feel small is go to the Grand Canyon and look down at the trails and the folks on donkeys are but a speck of sand before they are half way down, so even the Pres of the US, as important as we make him out to be,is still less than a speck on our planet. We obviously take life way too seriously! BearPawse

    January 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  2. X-Evolutionist

    Hi Jeffrey, Your comment on my "How Did Life Begin" topic was very insightful. I responded to you in the next comment. By the way, there is a lot of info that does not mention either God or the Bible that says that life required a designer. I have some of these books listed on my website. Darwin\’s Black Box, by Michael Behe, is about the complex workings of the cell. It is not a blog like Darwin thought.

    January 20, 2009 at 8:23 am

  3. Mandy

    Yep …. I\’m really small!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 6:32 am

  4. Greg

    Excellent post, Jeffrey. You\’ve got an excellent space here. I\’m sure I\’ll burn countless hours looking at all of your old posts. If you have a few good ones that you\’d like to share, we have a "fun challenge" running on the All Things Live group ( that you should check out.

    January 21, 2009 at 7:18 am

  5. technogran

    Brilliant post Jeffrey and well illustrated with the pictures. Just shows how hard it would be to write about certain things without being able to illustrate it with pictures. We are but a speck of dust on the ocean of creation.

    May 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm

  6. Cassie

    On the contrary—we are as vast as the multiverse for we can both perceive it and wonder at it. No other creature with which we areso far familiar has the capacity to do either.

    May 18, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  7. Cynical

    On the other hand … This post did not boost my self-esteem in the slightest. I think it leaves me somewhat larger but much less important than Top Quark (which was first demonstrated less than 10 miles from where I live, BTW) and a wee bit smaller than a Red Giant. Being a depressive cynic, even Cassie\’s comment doesn\’t help as it allows me to realize my relative insignificance in the greater scheme of things. Despite my whining, this was a great post. I\’m just being cranky.Peace, Doc

    May 19, 2009 at 6:33 am

  8. Tracey

    lt is truly hard to comprehend the size depicted.

    May 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm

  9. Jen

    I also had this email from a friend and saved the pictures (simple to do)! You beat me to the blog. I\’m sure there\’s a quick way of grabbing the text for people to read. After doing my next blog (tomorrow), I\’ll look into this. The pictures are stunning, aren\’t they.

    May 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  10. Curtis

    Great post! Makes me feel smaller. Its a wonder how it all stays in perfect ballance. Only the Creator.

    May 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

  11. Jeffrey

    Thank you all for coming and checking out my post! To be certain, I wrote this over four months ago. Better late than never!@Jen: I did not make the pics. The pics have been around for years, and I honestly don\’t know their origin. I too was very impressed with them and have saved them all this time. They are the subject of numerous blog posts and several inspirational emails. My post is, however, my own original and not a cut and paste of an email text. Interesting that you say I "beat you" to this?? Like I said, this was here four months ago. LOL! I recently altered it slightly adding new tags and a subscription link as I have done to several other posts since going with Windows 7. I guess that drew attention to it.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:24 am

  12. Jen

    No – I never got around to doing a blog. I know about the pictures. Don\’t know where our mate found them but he\’s brilliant at finding stuff like this and we always get brilliant emails from him! The pictures he sent I might actually have tags on, is all I meant. Oh – so much to check! Think I stuck them on a disc sonewhere. We got the original email way back last year;-)I bet I know who prompted this…and that\’s why everyone came to look.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:30 am

  13. Jeffrey

    Let me know if you find the origin of the pics, would you? I would love to know and give credit. I got my copies from a chain mail, but it didn\’t say who made them. 😦 Thx!

    May 20, 2009 at 2:16 am

  14. Jen pays:-)

    May 20, 2009 at 2:34 am

  15. Jen

    Oops! Forgot to add – you\’ll get a surprise…

    May 20, 2009 at 2:35 am

  16. Jeffrey

    It says what I already know: The source for this material is unknownIt was submitted without attribution6-22-6

    May 20, 2009 at 2:41 am

  17. Jeffrey

    What surprise? I love surpises! Anyway, there are other blog out there with more than just the pictures, but no one seems to know who to attribute them to. Oh well. *sigh*

    May 20, 2009 at 2:44 am

  18. Mandy

    Here\’s another surprise Jeff. ……., I looked to see what I could find to, (well I\’m a bit bored) found this!

    May 20, 2009 at 2:56 am

  19. Jeffrey

    That\’s a nice find Mandy, and I have included it in the post. I found a few of these with a much higher view count (this one had only 95) and one was so bad. A kid did it, and he was mispronouncing ALL the star names. It was terrible. I have to look for that one now too… LOL! Thanks for the find.

    May 20, 2009 at 3:09 am

  20. Jeffrey

    Here is the one I found a long time ago in video format: really didn\’t want to include this one!

    May 20, 2009 at 3:15 am

  21. Mandy

    Lol I like his pronunciation of Betelgeuse!

    May 20, 2009 at 3:32 am

  22. Jen

    "Betelgeuse!" Saw that word and immediately thought: "beetlejuice"! Now why in the heck would THAT happen?Sorry, J…

    May 20, 2009 at 3:50 am

  23. Mandy

    @Jen \’cos that\’s more or less how it\’s pronounced "beetlejooze" And it was a great film and one of my all time faves!

    May 20, 2009 at 4:26 am

  24. Jen

    Well, I\’m glad of that, then. Just goes to show I haven\’t completely lost me marbles;-)

    May 20, 2009 at 4:34 am

  25. Bob

    Amazing stuff……I don\’t know how with all of this, someone can not believe in a greater being?

    May 20, 2009 at 6:48 am

  26. hey i dont understand any of this!!

    October 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  27. Priscilla


    July 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

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