What I Want to Do

Look at that.

Just look at that! Isn’t it incredible?

It’s not a digital painting created inside a computer. An actual human being sent an actual camera up into actual space, turned it around, and snapped this actual photograph—or rather, several photographs that were composited together to make this image. If you lived in North America at the time it was taken, then there you are somewhere in this picture. (Unless you chose to hide beneath a cloud, silly you.) This blue orb is a real, tangible place.

And so is that black space behind it.

When you look at a photo taken from much farther away, or at an incredible scale model of the solar system, you start to get a sense that the Earth is extremely small. Your body is the same size compared to Earth as Earth is when compared to the whole Solar System.

So the Solar System is unfathomably huge. I can’t even comprehend a distance that big. But then I look at this picture:

Milky Way Very Small

It’s a visualization of the Milky Way galaxy. (You can’t take a real picture from outside of the whole thing like this, because we haven’t been outside of it… yet.)

You can only see the very biggest, brightest stars. Everything else, including our own Sun, is just a luminous blur. Our sun is so tiny in this visualization that you can’t even see it. On this scale, the Sun is microscopic.

As if that doesn’t blow my mind …

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