Astronomy and Your Place in the World

Anthony Thompson

In the Beginning

When we consider sizes and distances in space we must think in a different mode. Different from what, you may ask? Different than our normal modes of measurement. We must think "cosmically". The sheer size of the universe almost defies human logic, understanding and experience.

We live in a very thin layer of air on a very small planet. There are more stars in the sky than all the grains of sands on all the beaches of the world. We are less than a speck in our solar system, less than a grain of sand on a very big beach. Our solar system is almost invisible on the scale of our Milky Way Galaxy. And even our galaxy is only a small point of light in an enormous, expanding universe.

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