The question whether or not we are alone in the universe has captivated mankind since the beginning of history. For thousands of years have scientists, philosophers, historians and even archaeologists searched for that one clue that would prove whether or not we are alone in our universe.
Millions of people around the globe are firmly convinced that it’s ludicrous to think we are alone in the cosmos and argue that the sheer size of our galaxy, and let alone the universe is sufficient evidence to conclude we are not the only living organisms out there.
But it’s hard to understand just how big the universe truly is. Then there’s that theory that suggests there are more universes out there, and not just one.
So, to get an idea where we are located in space—where Earth, our moon, our solar system, and galaxy are—we’ve come up with a set of incredible images that will most likely redefine everything you’ve known about Earth, and our place in the galaxy and universe.
While our solar system is HUGE, it’s just a small corner in space. Carl Sagan described it best when he said: Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
While you are reading all of what I’ve written, and thinking about Earth—a miniature island somewhere in space, you are moving around our sun. In turn, our sun travels through space at a mind-bending speed of 792,000 kilometers per hour, around our galactic center.
In fact, nothing in the universe is static. Everything moves. Everything rotates around something—from our planet which orbits on its axis at a speed of nearly 1700 kilometers per hour—to the solar system and even the Milky Way galaxy.
So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to these 20 images that will make you rethink everything you’ve thought about Earth, our solar system, our universe, and the possibility of alien life elsewhere in the cosmos.
Ok so let’s take a look at our solar system, our little cosmic family.
However, since everything is in constant movement, our solar system looks more like this:
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter is the fifth planet in the solar system. It is part of the so-called outer or gaseous planets. It receives its name from the Roman god Jupiter (Zeus in Greek mythology).
After the Sun, Jupiter is the largest celestial body of the solar system, with a mass almost two and a half times that of the other planets together (with a mass 318 times greater than that of Earth and three times greater than that of Saturn , in addition to being in terms of volume, 1317 times larger than Earth).
And here’s Jupiter compared to Earth.
And a different perspective from both planets.
As I’ve said… Jupiter is MASSIVE.
But Saturn is also huge. Here are SIX Earth’s compared to the size of Saturn.
Here’s what the Solar System looks like from another perspective. (Notice the distances between the planets).
Our Sun is HUGE!
However, there are bigger stars in the universe. For example, VY Canis Majoris is approximately 1,000,000,000 times bigger than our Sun.
But there are objects much bigger than that. In this following image, we see the size of the Milky Way Galaxy compared to some of the known galaxies in the universe.
The universe is so vast it’s hard for us to even see it. However, there’s this image which offers a 46 billion-pixel image of the Milky Way. This image is considered one of the largest astronomical images to date. Here’s a small part:
If we zoom out of the milky way galaxy we’ll find that we are located in a cosmic neighborhood!
But that’s in fact really small when you zoom out and see the bigger picture of our little island in space:
We are in fact part of a Local Galactic Group:
And if you zoom further out, you’ll find this:
Eventually, you’ll find Laniakea. The Laniakea Supercluster is the galaxy supercluster home to the Milky Way galaxy and 100,000 other nearby galaxies. How stunning is that!
Zooming further out, you’ll find we are part of a massive Local supercluster.
This image below offers a view of the observable universe.
So what do you think… Are we alone in the universe?