Click image for larger version

Douglas Adams says in The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy:

“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly 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 immensity of the galaxy almost seems beyond human comprehension. But this image does start to bring it home to me. It shows the extent of penetration of human radio signals into our galaxy since we have had radio. It’s that small blue dot, 200 light years in diameter, you can see in the enlarged section.

And our galaxy is only an extremely small and irrelevant part of the universe.

One response to “Mindboggling

  1. I went to the Hermitage centre at Mount Cook and watched the shows at the domed planetarium……black holes, the universe etc. In one show they started with a view of earth then started travelling away whilst looking back, to provide a comparative scale, eventually out solar system was just a speck, then they showed the extent of how far our radio waves have travelled, then our galaxy the Milky Way became a speck, it was as you have stated………. mindboggling!!!!
    The possibility of other conscious life forms in the universe in some ways is of secondary importance, when as you have rightly pointed out our radio waves have only just reached ‘our corner shop’ at the end of our street so to speak!! To have any chance of being picked up by other life forms they will need to keep going for hundreds of thousands of years, and then they would need to be detected and contact made back…..just staggering!!
    Our planet, our species and everything on earth is insignificant compared to the vastness of the universe……………light travel here we come!!
    Thanks for posting…………….good to be reminded of our place in the cosmos! 🙂


Leave a Reply: please be polite to other commenters & no ad hominems.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s