Not Something You See Everyday

I was always aware that our solar system was not static, and like all children who attended school at least up to the third grade, we understood that the Moon rotates around the Earth, the Earth rotates around the sun at 67, 000 mph, and the sun is rotates around the Milky Way Galaxy at an astonishing speed of 52,000 mph.  That’s a lot of high speed motion, but even at this phenomenal velocity, the latest geological estimate of the age of our earth is in the billions of years – no, don’t try to imagine it – and we’re still only on the edges of this huge spiral, tucked away in an outer “arm”.

Obviously not a picture of our own galaxy, but a close enough approximation that someone gave us a relative distance reference to the hub.

I never considered exactly how we moved through this incredible vacuum.  If you’ve seen any models at the planetarium, or in your seventh grade Physical Science classroom, (or whenever/wherever), our solar system is represented on a neat little horizontal plane, with monstrously incorrect distances between the planets, but you wouldn’t be able to make an accurate representation of what truly is fit in any one building.  The words “far flung” and “huge” are hardly up to the job to describe the space in between our nearest heavenly objects.  When I saw this animated explanation of how we are oriented in space, it really impressed me.  Enjoy!


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