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Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2012 March 12 The Scale of the Universe - Interactive Flash Animation Credit & Copyright: Cary & Michael Huang
A Humbling Perspective "Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise." This scale comparison shows "the true place" of Earth and our Sun among the various giants of the universe. It is simultaneously sobering and mind-boggling experience. First series of images opens with the Death Star compared to Mimas , one of Saturn's moons.
In some cases distance data was tweaked when different catalogs assigned inconsistent distances to objects that are actually associated. "Beacon” stars are bright stars with absolute magnitudes of zero or less. “Pre-supernova” stars are commonly believed by astronomers to be on the verge of exploding Real Soon Now (i.e., anytime from one million years from now to tomorrow). “Collider” is Gliese 710 . There is a fair chance it will collide with our solar system in approximately 1.4 million years, or at least pass by close enough to initiate a deadly hail of comets .