One of the most difficult things about thinking about space is to imagine the scale of things. It’s not easy to comprehend the enormous distances, sizes and temperatures that are involved.
So when scientists tell us that Jupiter is 142, 984 km (88, 846 miles) across at the equator – 11 times the diameter of our planet – it sounds big, but just how big?
John Brady at Astronomy Central has come up with a useful way to help us compare sizes as in the two examples, above. North America stretches across the face of Mars (top) but looks like a speck of moss near the great storm on Jupiter.
Similarly, the size of Saturn’s rings are put into perspective below.
Brady has lots more fascinating comparisons here.
Originally published by Cosmos as The scale of things – a yardstick for understanding the vastness of space
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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