How Big is Our Solar System

Ahh, the Universe. It is so freaking huge. The smartypants at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) managed to land the one ton SUV-sized rover called Curiosity, that doubles as minerals lab, on the surface of Mars, with exacting accuracy in the early earth-hours of this monday and it marks yet another step in our species’ centuries long marathon to find out if there are life forms outside our rapidly warming blue planet. Mars, which is 54.6 million kms (36 million miles) when it is nearest to earth, is only a short hop away if you consider the vast size of our solar system which, along with the universe, is constantly expanding. Let’s see what we’ve got. There is land where we live, then there is lower atmosphere where birds fly, then the upper atmosphere where clouds and airplanes cruise, then as you move farther out, you have your low, medium, and high orbit satellites, the International Space Station, the f*cking moon and that’s only about 238 thousand miles – barely an inch as far as the universe is concerned. Just consider what an insignificant speck of carbon molecules we are from the perspective of the planets and the stars, comets and asteroids, galaxies and constellations, vast gobbles gas and dust. It is scientifically impossible for our human brain to visualize and comprehend distances of such scale and it is for circumstances precisely such as this we have information design.
Behold the expertly designed infographic from the BBC. (I did steal borrow it from the BBC, but I am linking to their website, so its cool.)

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