Scale: 1016 meters = 10 Pm = 10 petameters (Approximately 1 light year)

The Oort Cloud

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book.The introduction begins like this:

'Space,' it says, '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, but that's just peanuts to space. Listen ...' and so on."

This image shows a volume of one cubic light year with nothing in it except the tiny dot that represents our entire solar system. It takes six months for light to travel from the Sun to the edge of the picture. If your browser is displaying these images as 10 cm x 10 cm, the nearest star is over 40 cm (16 inches) away! A star as bright as our Sun is visible to the naked eye out to about 50 light years. We have been broadcasting electromagnetic radiation for about 60 years. Given this reality, it is impossible that anything, or anyone, beyond a radius of 60 light years can know that we exist. With apologies to Star Trek, warp drive is a myth, and even knowledge is limited to the speed of light. On the other hand, perhaps with the infinite improbability drive....

Copyright © 2016 by Bruce Bryson