United States is bigger than all but three countries in the world. Humans are bigger than ants, which in turn are much bigger than bacteria. It all depends on your perspective. We or our country or our planet are far too small in the grand scheme of things. John Brady of Astronomy Central takes offers a look at how small Earth is compared to the Sun.
1,300,000 Earths can fit inside the Sun
The Sun is an enormous ball of burning light. It contains 99.86% of the total mass of our solar system. That means all the planets, moons, comets and everything else in the solar system fits in the remaining 0.14% of the solar mass. The Sun is 1,391,000 kilometers (864,400 miles) across, which is about 109 times the diameter of Earth. It weighs 333,000 times as much as our planet. Pretty big, isn’t it?
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The Sun is so big that more than 1,300,000 planets the size of Earth can easily fit inside it. In fact, our Earth is similar to the size of an average sunspot, which is visible on most days on the Sun. Moreover, it throws out more energy in one second than all of the energy produced in human history. Every second, the Sun loses over 4 billion tons of material into space. But it has enough material to last another 5 billion years, says John Brady.
Eta Carinae primary star is 90 times bigger
A solar flare has more power than a billion Hiroshima bombs. But the Sun is very small compared to many other stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The biggest star within 10,000 light years of Earth is the primary star of the “stellar monster” Eta Carinae two-star system. The primary star in Eta Carinae is 90 times bigger and five million times brighter than our Sun.
Yet another star called Betelgeuse, located 640 light years away from the Earth. Scientists estimate that it is 300 times bigger than Eta Carinae. It is the ninth brightest star in the night sky, but its surface temperature is only two-third of our Sun.