# We are conned to a small planet circling an average

This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: laxies and clusters of galaxies, and ﬁnally the study of the Universe as a whole (&quot;Cosmology&quot;). We are conﬁned to a small planet circling an average star. The study of astronomy can take you beyond these boundaries and help you not only see where you are in the Universe but understand what you are. How Big is the Universe? Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team 4 Astronomy will introduce you to sizes, distances, and times far beyond your usual experience on Earth. It can be a challenge to grasp the meaning of these unfamiliar sizes, distances, and times. The solution lies in a single word—scale. Let’s compare objects of diferent sizes in order to comprehend the scale of the universe and think about the question, “How big is the Universe?” Our Earth NASA A view of planet Earth, about 13,000 km (8,000 miles) in diameter 5 Here is our home, Earth, which is about 13,000 km (or 8,000 miles) in diameter. Our Solar System Wikimedia Commons This image shows the relative sizes of the Sun, planets, and dwarf planets (distances are NOT to scale) 6 Earth is one of eight planets orbiting around our Sun. Our solar system consists of the Sun, and all the planets, dwarf planets, moons, and small bodies that orbit it. This image shows the relative sizes of the Sun, planets, and dwarf planets, but note that distances are NOT to scale. Note the great diference in the sizes of the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) vs. the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). To get an idea of Earth’s size compared to larger bodies in the solar system, think about this: Earth is the sixth largest body in our solar system, after the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus. The Sun is 99.85% of the mass of the entire solar system. Of the 0.15% remaining, Jupiter is more than two-thirds! This gives us an interesting perspective of Earth’s place in the solar system. Solar System Family P...
View Full Document

## This note was uploaded on 10/23/2013 for the course ASTR 100 taught by Professor Dunne during the Fall '12 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online