Just how small we are

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Recently, my wife and I were getting ready for bed while watching TV when suddenly everything went dark, then a flicker of light again, then total darkness. It always seems startling, and maybe even spooky, to have your electricity suddenly go out without any notice. Fortunately, our one and only flashlight was nearby. After calling the power company, we stepped outside in our "sleep" clothes to perhaps learn what caused the blackout, and boy was it black out! Our house is located on the outskirts of a small town in Vermont. We have no neighbors and no street lights. After the initial awe of how dark it was, we looked up to see a clear sky with millions of stars visible thanks to a moonless night. Since the weather was obviously not the cause of the blackout, we figured someone may have hit an electrical pole with their car. Without the A.C. it was too warm in the house to fall asleep, so we decided to stay outside awhile and gaze at the beautiful star filled sky. The picture above is a fair representation of what we saw. As I joked about how this would be a good time for an extraterrestrial visit, and hoped one would come, my wife pointed out how small we (as a planet) are in this vast universe. In fact, scientists have deduced that if all the sand on earth was the universe, our planet would be smaller than a single grain. They also know that if you could travel in a spacecraft moving at the speed of light (which is over 186,000 miles per second), it would still take over 4 years to reach the nearest star/solar system from us. I mentioned alien visitors again and noted that distance was probably the reason we aren't visited everyday. My wife thinks we may simply be a very insignificant planet among the almost infinite amount of planets in the universe. Anyway, the point of this article is that although we think our world is so big; size is extremely relative. Play this short video to see just how small we are.