Friday, October 05, 2007

It's all relative

Tom Clabough, one of Central Park's amateur astronomers who on most clear nights generously share their optical equipment and expertise on the northeast corner of the Great Lawn, sent me a fascinating lesson in relativity. Tom writes:

I thought I'd send you some amazing illustrations depicting the comparative sizes of some familiar celestial objects. Keep in mind as you're viewing them that the Sun is roughly one million miles in diameter. But if you think that's big, wait til you see how it compares to Arcturus and Antares!

Scale model --[from left, back row] Jupiter, Saturn,
[middle row]:Uranus, Neptune,
and then the little ones in front row, from left:
Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury and the moon

Scale Model -Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury and [the little gray one] the moon

Scale Model of some stars - [from right] Arcturus, Pollux [one of the Twins constellation], Sirius and [the tiny one] our Sun.