Perspective

AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, each of us has a moment when we think we’re pretty “big stuff” and get rather full of ourselves. But let’s just do a reality check, facilitated by the following impressive series of photos:

Well, at least if we’re just a tiny speck on Earth, at least Earth is a big place, right? Then again…

Compared to the larger planets in our solar system, Earth is not much of a big marble at all! Hail Jupiter, ah so? Then again…

Next to our sun, though, Jupiter looks downight tiny. The sun rules! Then again…

Up against other sun-stars, even our own sun looks like a B-B up against a bowling ball. Especially next to gargantuan Acturus…almost inconceivably huge! Then again…

Arcturus, just to the left of Rigel above, is dwarfed by colossal Antares. At this scale, our sun is a single pixel, and Jupiter is invisible.

And Antares itself is small potatoes up against the largest known star, VY Canis Majoris. How big is this one? Well, the radius of our sun (center to surface) is 432,450 miles. Canis Majoris is 2,100 solar radii. Just for light to travel around it would take eight hours.

I really can’t get my brain around such enormity. Yet it doesn’t end here. Canis Majoris is insignificant compared to the breadth of just one galaxy. And galaxies range in breadth from 1,000 to 100,000 parsecs—one parsec being about 3.3 light years in distance.

And the 100 billion or more galaxies in the universe are separated from each other by millions of parsecs. My brain quit comprehending this quite a while back now.

I can only respond in the moving words of a favorite hymn by Stuart Hamblen:

How big is God, how big and wide His vast domain?
To try to tell, these lips can only start

He’s big enough to rule the mighty universe
Yet small enough to live within my heart.

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