Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This is the universe. Or, at least, the "visible universe," so basically what we can see. Please note, if you can see it, the scale, where that little bit is the distance light can travel in a billion years.

In the visible universe there are 350 billion large galaxies and another 7 trillion dwarf ones.
Here's ours:

Ah, the Milky Way Galaxy. Home sweet home. This galaxy only has roughly 200 billion stars that make it up, as opposed to the trillions in neighboring galaxies. The Sun, our faithful star, is pointed out to the picture. You'll note the closeness of Orion, and relate that to what you see in the sky at night. What you see, according to this picture, is orion as it looked about 10,000 years ago. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's still pretty darn far away. Now, our Sun seems pretty miniscule. Here's a picture of that.

So, there's our tiny little sun, with a few rocks going around it. Don't think the Sun is so tiny? I found a nice little video that'll fix that.

 That saves me the time of comparing our little rock to the Sun, too. So there's our planet. Little nothing, pipsqueak Earth.

Here's my not-completely-accurate history of Earth (so don't bother correcting the order or accuracy of these events). Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago, give or take 500 million years. That's a long time. It took a couple billion to settle down, but then volcanoes and such caused Snowball Earth around 2.3 billion years ago, and that lasted for a few million years, and would have killed everything on the surface, except that there wasn't enough oxygen in the atmosphere to make an ozone layer, so the surface was right near radioactive. Then we warmed up, oxygen levels rose, and suddenly those single cell organisms that survived started growing. Then volcanoes and ice ages killed most of them. Anyway, this continued on for another billion years or so. Then finally around 500 million years ago, about 4 billion years after the Earth formed, the first green plants hit up the surface and shit started crawling out of the ocean. 300 million years ago now, we have insects and primitive sharks and stuff. We're around the Pangea time. Then Earth freaks out again, killing 95% of all life. That last 5% eventually turns into the dinosaurs. They last from about 250 million years ago to 65 million years ago. Now, considering how quickly everyone's been dying so far, they did pretty well. Till the meteor hit the gulf of Mexico. So they died. Mammals take over, and lucky them, they can survive ice ages, because there were a few of those going on. About 12 million years ago we start seeing apes. Early human forms start showing up, but almost go extinct because of a super volcano 75000 years ago (ever heard of Yellow Stone?) Humans as we know them start showing up at around 10,000 years ago, in the tail end of an ice age that peaked around 30,000 years ago. All of humanity, then, prospered in the last few years, as the world is still heating up after the last ice age.

So we fit in this little sliver of time - a fraction of one percent, of Earth's history, which is young compared to the rest of creation. We live on this rock that can fit in the sun 1,300,000 times, and that's a small sun, one of 200 billion in our small galaxy, which is one of several trillion galaxies.

And you're pissed that the lady put too much sugar in your frap. Shut up, tri delt; I'm trying to study.

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