The scale of the universe, in 11 images

A little context can be a good thing. Joseph Stromberg, writing for Vox, provides some examples to remind you how there’s always something larger. Of note are some excellent examples collected from enthusiast astronomer John Brady, founder of Astronomy Central, some of which aren’t in this list. Still it’s nice to have all of these in one place.


Pluto takes 248 Earth years to orbit the sun. To put it another way, the entirety of US history has occurred during a single Plutonian orbit. When Pluto was last in its current location, we hadn’t invented aviation, let alone spaceflight.

Looking at these, I can’t help but be reminded of the Powers of Ten, Charles and Ray Eames’ 1977 documentary, which I watched for the first time in the Air and Space Museum. Definitely check that out [YouTube] if you’ve somehow missed it.