Tag: astronomy science

Scale: Carbon Atom to Massive Star

by on May.30, 2011, under technoPHOBE

Though my blog is primarily focused on DIY, I think every once in a while some general information is appropriate because it is central to why even bothering with learning or doing anything…at all.. let alone doing it yourself.  While these aren’t the answers to the big questions of where we are from, or what’s it all for, the two links below can instill amazement and appreciation of this universe we are citizens of for a short time.

Nothing new here. We’ve been taught size and scale throughout our lives.  Then, when quantities are sufficiently small or large, our perception loses a handle on something to keep it in relative perspective. You take photo of a statue with someone next to it and say “wow, that’s a big statue”.  What is 1 x 10^100 vs 10 x 6.022 x 20^23?  They are just big numbers.  We can talk about them, but lose sight of how big they are.  Well, take some time to watch the two following links in succession.  Study them and really try to keep their relative sizes in the working store of your mind.  Compared to the carbon atom, how big are we humans?  Compared to Betelgeuse, what is the amount of atoms we contain?

I showed these two links to my department at work to open a meeting. Some commented on feeling insignificant afterwards, others amazed that they could look up that night and see many of the stars called out (Betelgeuse, Pollux, Aldebaran, Sirius). They all seemed to again reflect on where we fit in the scheme of things.

The universe is a big place.  There is a lot out there to try to understand.  Why not start here?

Let’s Start Small

Let’s Try Something Larger

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