If there's something that bothers you, think about it...
So, this is you
This is you from about 30,000 feet. Cruising altitude
This is you from 100,000 feet
Someone jumped out of a balloon from this height, back in 1960
This is you from about 200 miles, or more than 20 times the altitude of the highest human jump. This is where the ISS lives
The first man to reach this height, Yuri Gagarin, did it in this tiny sphere
Actually this dog did it first
She died though
Now, this is the Earth from the moon, about 230,000 miles away
The farthest a human has ever been from home is 248,655 miles, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft made its risky trip around the dark side of the moon
And this is Earth from Mars, which is over 30 million miles away. This is the next place humans will go, in theory.
The sun looks a lot smaller from there
But during the day, it looks pretty much just like home
Anyway, here is the Earth from roughly where Saturn is. See it?
Eh, we're getting pretty far away. Let's zoom in a little
Now let's keep going. This is what Earth looks like as you're leaving the solar system, 3.7 billion miles away. Pluto-ish area
Obviously 3.7 billion miles is really, really far. But you also have to consider that Earth is pretty tiny
Here's what Jupiter would look like from Earth if it were as close as the moon
Compared to the Sun, though, even Jupiter looks like a runt
Not that the Sun has anything to brag about
(we're just getting started)
But as massive as stars are, they're microscopic compared to galaxies they live in. This is our galaxy, the Milky Way
Oh, by the way, the closest galaxy to ours, which also has billions of stars, is going to slam into us eventually. Here's what NASA thinks it will look like from Earth
So yes, there are millions, billions, and sometimes trillions of stars in each galaxy. But how many galaxies are there? In 2003, NASA pointed the Hubble telescope at a minuscule dark patch in the night sky
They took hundreds of pictures over about three months, for over 11 days' worth of exposure time. They came back with this
Feeling small yet?
In that tiny little dark patch of sky were 10,000+ galaxies, many bigger than our own
These are the galaxies we've been able to map so far. It's estimated there are more than 150 billion in our observable universe, the size of which we're still unsure of
So, in conclusion, you are a speck on a dot on a mote on a speck. Which is terrifying. But also great! So whatever's bothering you?