Science Rules!

Our Space in Space

earth1

This is our home. To us it seems rather large....but it is just a tiny dot in the universe!

ourplaceinthess

Here is where we are in our solar system. Except that the planets are so spread apart, we have to shove them together to show them all at the same time.

3earthdistancemoon

This shows the approximate distance between Earth and the moon.

4planetsbetweenearthandmoon

That distance can be filled with all of the planets side by side. Yeah, the moon isn't all that close to Earth after all!

5northamerciajupiter

This little blob of green is North America compared to Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

6saturnand6earths

Six Earth's would fit with Saturn's rings.

7ifearthhadrings

Ever wonder what it would look like if Earth had rings? Here is what the rings of Saturn would look like from different places on Earth.

8cometcomparedtoLA

In November, the ESA landed a probe on a comet. Here is how big a comet would be compared to Los Angeles.

9suncomparedtoplanets

Here is one way to see how large our star is compared to the planets. Earth is a tiny dot.

10earthcomparedtosun

Here is another view of Earth compared to the Sun.

11earthfromthemoon

If you were on the Moon, this is what Earth would look like. Do you notice that it doesn't look like a complete sphere? Why is that?

12earthfrommars

This photo was taken from the Mars rover. It shows the tiny dot of Earth. Think about how we see Mars from Earth. Not too different, is it?

13earthfromsaturn

One of our probes captured a photo of Earth while it was near Saturn.

14earthfromneptune

We also have an image of Earth from just past Neptune.

15sunfrommars

Meanwhile....on Mars, this is what the Sun looks like. How does it compare to what the Sun looks like from Earth.

16morestarsthangrainsofsandonearth

Carl Sagan told us that there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth.

17suncomparedtoVYCanisMajoris

You thought our Sun was large, but it is nothing compared to a star named YV Canis Majoris. But is YV Canis Majoris the largest star? We don't know....we may discover one that is even larger.

18-5comparesuntocanismajoris

This shows the different sizes of the Sun and other stars.

18usinmilkyway

This is the Milky Way - our galaxy. The red marker shows where our solar system is.

19starsyouseeatnight

Here is another view of the Milky Way and where we are in it. Hmmm.....have you ever wondered how we have photos of the Milky Way if we are actually IN the Milky Way? Well, actually, we can't see our galaxy from above. These are artists guesses based on images of other galaxies.

20milkywaycomparedtoIC1011

The tiny dots on the bottom left are our galaxy and some nearby neighbors compared to this monster galaxy called LC 1011.

21deepspacegalaxies

The Hubble took this long-exposure photo of one little piece of space. When astronomers looked at the image, they were amazed at the number of galaxies that appeared in the image.

22udf423billionsofyearsinpast

This is a galaxy named UDF 423 (astronomers assign numbers/code to the different space objects before they get names). It is billions of miles away and the light take billions of years to travel from where it is to where we are. What you are seeing is billions of years old - and might not even be there now!!

23deepspacephotojustonedirection

The deep space photo all came from this tiny patch in the sky. Imagine how many more there is out there!

24earthsorbitcomparedtoblackhole

Astronomers tell us that in the center of each galaxy, there is a black hole. This black hole is massive compared to Earth, Earth's orbit, and Neptune's Orbit. In fact, the whole solar system does not even compare to NGC 1277.

25solarsystemfromafar

Here is another graphic showing our solar system.

26solarinterstellarneighborhood

Here are some other stars that are around our solar system. The Sun is the closest star to Earth, about 93 million miles away. The Sun’s nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is actually a triple-star system —three stars bound together by gravity. Alpha Centauri A and B are two bright, closely orbiting stars with a distant, dim companion, Proxima Centauri.

27milkywaygalaxy

Another view of our interstellar neighborhood (the photo before) and where it fits in the Milky Way galaxy.

28localgalacticgroup

29virgosupercluster

Other clusters around us.

30localsuperclusters

Even farther out.

31observableuniverse

This is the observable universe from the tiny dot of superclusters.

Stellarium

Here is a great program for viewing the night sky that students may be interested in playing around with. There are several of these type programs on the Internet if you do a search. The one that we have been looking at in 3rd grade, and will in 5th also, is Stellarium. It is available at Stellarium.org. It can be downloaded to Windows, Mac, and Linux.