A cosmic sense of scale

Loading player...

This animation gives a sense of the awe-inspiring scale of some of the known objects in our universe. It is difficult for human minds to comprehend the sheer size of distant stars, many of which completely dwarf our own Sun. Here we see some of the most famous objects displayed relative to one another. The animation begins with Earth, which has a radius of about 6.3 million metres, and ends at VY Canis Majoris, one of the largest known stars in existence, with a radius about 1420 times that of our own Sun, or 990 billion metres! Keep an eye on the changing scale underneath the objects to really appreciate the variation in size.

This animation will form part of the "The Living Universe" exhibition, to be displayed at the ESO Supernova, opening in spring 2018.


ESO/M. Kornmesser/L. Calçada