“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Yes, space IS big, but that is only one side of the coin of the known Universe—there are items known and believed to exist that are incredibly small. Cary and Michael Huang have created a fascinating web page,that permits the scientifically voyeuristic to view a large number of items in the Universe to scale relative to each other. Think electrons are small? Think your house is large in the scheme of things? Think again!
From quantum foam thought to be around 0.00000000001 yoctometers (a yoctometer is 1/100th the diameter of an electron) …
… to the estimated size of the Universe (thought roughly to be in the neighborhood of 93 billion light years),
the Huangs’attempts to illustrate how unimaginably immense our present understanding of reality is.
The site starts out with a reference point: humans, along with a few creatures in proximity to us to show scale. The page has a slider bar that permits visitors to move the slider to the far left towards an increasingly smaller scale, moving past assorted small life forms, cells, bacteria, organelles, molecules, atoms, subatomic particles and beyond. Users can also move the slider to the right to the upper limits of the known Universe, on the way flashing by states, mountains, continents, moons, planets, stars, galaxies, giant galaxies, super-clusters of galaxies and beyond. Why there’s even the realm of Minecraft tucked in to scale as well for you gamers out there. Plus, you can click on items for a brief description of the item and its size. Want to know what the Eridanis Supervoid is and its size? Just click on it and see. Oh, by the way, it is about half a billion light years across (that’s about 200 times the distance from Earth to the Andromeda Galaxy). In case you’ve been up late at night wondering.
Give the site a view. It will put a lot of things in perspective and is simply awe-inspiring!