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A Modern Understanding of the

Universe
The Size, Scale and Structure of the
Universe
Earth & Moon Relative Size

Image taken from http://btc.montana.edu/ceres/worlds/earthmoon.jpg and


Relative Size of the Planets

Image taken from http://laughingsquid.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/15783348542_95b39b3a7a_k.jpg


Relative Size of the Planets
and the Sun

Image taken from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Solar/sizes.html


Inner Solar System

Image taken from http://ryanmarciniak.com/archives/390


Outer Solar Syster

Image taken from http://ryanmarciniak.com/archives/390


Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud

Image taken from http://ryanmarciniak.com/archives/390


Stars near Us

Image taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs


Let’s Get BIGGER
• Atlas of the Universe
3D Structure of Universe

Image taken from http://astronomyonline.org/Cosmology/DarkMatter.asp


Structural Hierarchy
• UNIVERSE (14.7 Gly; visible only)
–Supercluster (Laniakea or Local
Supercluster; 100,000 galaxies, 520Mly)
• Cluster (Local Group; 54 galaxies, 10Mly)
–Galaxy (Milky Way, 100-400 billion stars,
180 kly)
»Stellar Neighbors (Alpha Centauri, 4ly)
• Solar System (1.5ly)
• Planet & Satellite (Earth & Moon)
Measuring Distances
• Astronomical Unit (AU) –the average distance
between the Earth and the Sun, ~ 93 million
miles or 150 million kilometers
• Light-year (ly) – the distance light travels
(through a vacuum) in a year, 9.46x1012 km or
~ 6 trillion miles
– 1 ly=63241.1 AU