The Size of the Earth Compared to Other Objects in Space

Here are some great pictures showing the size of the earth in comparison to other objects in space. I shared these in church yesterday as part of a sermon on Psalm 8. You can click on the pictures to see a larger version.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

1. Earth compared to the smaller planets (Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto):

Earth compared to smaller planets (Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto)

2. Earth compared to the larger planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune):

Earth compared to larger planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune)

3. The larger planets compared to the Sun:

The larger planets compared to the Sun

4. Our Sun compared to Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus:

Our Sun compared to Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus

5. Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus compared to Rigel, Aldebaran, Antares
    and Betelgeuse:

Sirius, Pollux and Arcturus compared to Rigel, Aldebaran, Antares, and Betelgeuse

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  1. Linda Oliver says:

    Is there any way I can find a poster for a classroom with this pictured on it! It is just incredible

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Linda – I looked around on the web but couldn’t find any. I agree, it would make a great poster.

  3. Mas says:

    These are just awesome images! My imagination has been stretched to the limit; All I can say is to God be the glory and power and wisdom for ever and ever and ever and ever. Amen.
    Thank you

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Mas – I’m glad you enjoyed them and that they helped you in your praise of our great God and creator.

  5. Musa Bimbih says:

    Hi, Those picture should be enough for mankind to understand that our existance is almost nothing…we can’t see the earth, the sun sometimes or sirius….more we decover, more we look like nothing….Indeed GOD, exists. Indeed, GOD speaks the truth about what HE created…I found a lot of evidance of these discoveries In the QUAN. In the QUAN, it mentioned the lacations of statrs….the Sitius stars, the piercing Star…and so….I was amazed about how detailed is that book. It doesn’t condradict the science….in fact, it has more than what any scientist is looking for…..thank you for the pictures.

  6. Ray Fowler says:

    Musa Bimbih – I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. I am familiar with the descriptions you mention from the Quran (here is a link for those who are curious: The Piercing Star). However, I would encourage you to look to the Bible and to Jesus Christ for God’s true revelation. When you read through the gospels and see that Jesus truly is God’s Son, and that this amazing universe was created through him, then these pictures will be even more amazing to you. (For example see, John 1:1-3) God bless, Ray

  7. brian upholz says:

    I like the pictures too.
    I don’t believe in a higher deity though.
    Thank you for the pictures, it is beautiful to a wonder over the marvels of our universe without the need to believe in a higher authority.
    Take care and be well.

  8. Ray Fowler says:

    Brian – I’m glad you liked the pictures. Thank you for feeling free to share your view. Of course from my perspective, when you miss out on the Creator, you are missing out on the best part! All the best, Ray

  9. M says:

    I think you have Antares and Betelgeuse reversed in the last image.

  10. Ray Fowler says:

    M – You’re right! I went ahead and fixed it. Antares used to be bigger than Betelgeuse, but Betelgeuse is larger now. Antares is 800 solar radii, and Betelgeuse is closer to 1,000. (List of largest known stars)

  11. Thor says:

    How small and petty the gods of earth seem when compared to the wonders and vastness of this universe. The god of the bible, the quran, and the like squabble over small tracts of land, worry about how to sacrifice animals, what day to prayer, which way to face, blah blah blah.

    There’s so much more to this short life than is worth a minute worrying about what happens after.

    I appreciate the comparison but feel you miss the real grandeur of the universe by putting it in comparison to petty, small gods.

  12. Ray Fowler says:

    Thor – Well, first let me note the irony of a comment slamming the gods from a reader named Thor. And I would agree with you that the Greek and Roman gods of folklore are indeed petty and small.

    But not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is majestic in power, glorious in wisdom, beautiful in holiness, loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, righteous, just and true, magnificent beyond description, worthy of all our deepest honor and praise. Before the mountains were born or he brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting he is God. (Psalm 90:2) As the Creator and Sustainer of all things, rather than the universe making him look small, the wonders and vastness of this universe only serve to declare his glory. That’s the God I worship.

    As far as issues relating to land, sabbath days and animal sacrifice, these all had their place in the Old Testament to prepare us for the coming of Christ, but now that Christ has come we serve God in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6)

    Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. I am glad we share a sense of wonder at the universe, and I pray that yours will lead you to know and love the great God who created it all. All the best!

  13. Brett says:

    In comparison to our sun and then even to Betelgeuse, would the size comparison ratio between the size of an atom compared to the size of an averaged sized full grown man be about the same size comparison as the size of that same man compared to Betelgeuse? Would we be but the size of an atom on the surface of Betelgeuse? Please respond to the above email address. Thank you.

  14. Ray Fowler says:

    Brett – Sorry, but I don’t know. Anyone want to do the math?

  15. Thor says:

    Ray. You certainly seem intelligent and thoughtful, yet you use quotes that support your view of a majestic god and ignore those that show it to be petty, cruel and the fables of desert nomads in ancient times.

    For example, you quote Psalms 90:2 and then go on to say the Old Testament was prelude to the new testament. You mean you ignore all the old testament or only those that now are “uncomfortable” for a rational 21st human to hold? Like slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9).

    And how bout that Jesus guy.. a real family man: “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

    HATE? Geez, not very “Christian” is it?

    Sorry, but picking and choosing good stuff is easy. Reading the whole book, stories and understanding that it was written by people that had no concept of how large and wonderful the universe really is, that had petty issues and advocated killing, enslaving enemy tribes. Nothing in the bible couldn’t have been written by an ancient person. Why aren’t the scared words “Do no harm to anyone” “Do not rape” “Do not commit pedophilia” “Learn the universe, discard things that are false” and so on… You could easily have written a better, more informed “word of god” then what the bible has in it.


  16. Ray Fowler says:

    Thor – Yes, I believe the Old Testament is a prelude to the Old, but that does not mean I ignore the difficult passages. The questions you raise are not new and have been dealt with many times before. (For example, see on the slavery issue in Exodus 21.)

    When you study the passages in context and take the Bible as a whole, it is clear that the Bible does not teach or advocate rape, slavery, hate, murder, and child abuse. (Did I leave anything out? 🙂 ) It is not a matter of cherry-picking verses, but reading the verses in context.

  17. Randy says:

    You can see the original material for this in a larger size here.

  18. Ray Fowler says:

    Randy – Thanks for the link. You can also view the larger images just by clicking on the pictures in this post. I also noticed the rense site has Antares and Betelgeuse switched in the last photo.

  19. SoulReaver says:

    Thanks for the amazing comparison and pictures.
    give yourself 80 minutes and watch the below video.
    If you watch the whole thing patiently you’ll probably thank
    yourself for the rest of your life.

    Help yourself and the ones you care about.
    All the best

  20. Ray Fowler says:

    SoulReaver – I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. The YouTube video looks interesting, and I will have to check it out sometime when I have some more time.

  21. Steven says:

    I think it is so incredible to see how small our planet is compared to objects so large in the universe. Amazing !

  22. Ray Fowler says:

    Steve – I agree. If you want to read a biblical reflection on this, I encourage you to read the message from Psalm 8 that accompanies this post. Here is the link: Our Place in God’s Creation – Psalm 8

  23. frank burns says:

    The real truth is that “a real god would have known known better.” –Any normal person today could have written a better Bible — one that would not have to be “dealt with” as you put it. This “dealt with” is convincing only to those who are already psychologically enmeshed in a complex lie.

  24. Ray Fowler says:

    Frank – Yikes, well if am already psychologically enmeshed in a complex lie I don’t know what I can say that you would be willing to listen to.   🙂

    I guess the bottom line for me is I don’t expect the Bible to be an easy book to digest or to make perfect sense to my limited human mind. If it made perfect sense on a human level, that would present a good case for it being merely a human book and not one that came from the mind of God.

  25. jeffery says:

    I love your site. It’s thought provoking. I’m a photography teacher and I’d like to use your image of the sun and the planets for a lighting lesson I’m writing for my employer, Photoflex. Here’s the text that will accompany your photo:

    This concept is so important to lighting theory that it justifies restating. Let’s take the example of the sun, which is more than 100 times bigger than the Earth. It’s a big light source, but it’s so far away, that it is only a bright spot compared to the size of a human face. The result is high contrast and hard shadows. When a cloud moves in front of the sun, the effective light source is increased and the light is softened. When the sky becomes overcast, the light source becomes enormous and the wrap around effect makes the lighting very soft, low contrast and virtually shadowless.

  26. Ray Fowler says:

    Jeffery – The image is not mine, I received it in an email, but you are welcome to use it.

  27. Rickie says:

    This completely disproves god. I spent two years as a christian, devoted! I’ve been studying christianity in pursuit of truth. The bible alone disproves the existence of an omnipotent creator. I understand some people bare their sanity on belief, but what kills me the most, is the fact almost all christians settle for what they are told about scriptures. Even then almost spl are hypocrites, and the leaders are mere scam artists who prey on our hopes of salvation.
    Passion of the Christ was a touching movie. I felt his pain in suffering alone, as many of us can. What though would you feel towards god if you were to see a move about the rape and pillaging of innocent people? I can give more scripture upon this than about Jesus. Look into your bibles, you want to know truth, study with an open mind, rather than saying, we can know every thing, because a real ever loving forgiving god, wouldn’t leave us a book as controlling as the bible, he wouldn’t confuse us with faith, if he wanted grill to be choice nothing would be said of heaven or hell. The bible controls by fear and hope, a real all loving god would leave a book easily understood by all, simple in its message of pe love and would be a guide relevant for all times, not just when men were sexist and power hungry, wait thats sfull relevant today ooops. Wanna talk for real, e mail me, there are beautiful things in life, the is a positive and negative force, you want to live forever, the only way there is in the hearts you touch in the good you do.

  28. daniel says:

    okay now the question is how many earths can u fit betelgeuse?

  29. GOD says:

    So now god made space aswell?
    Wait wasnt Earth flat?
    I hate religions with every fiber in my body , it is a chain that keep human kind from advancing faster.



    religion=bed time story for weak minds

    and thats a FACT

  30. Brian Upholz says:

    I believe in compassionate oneness. No matter what your spirituality is it is your awakenin to living in SPirit that matters. If you live in the lower energy states such as the sexual energy or power energy chakras then you are not living from the heart at all. You are caught in the drama of desire and the wheel spins over and over again. I love this modeling of relative sizes of stars and planets. Whether or not you are spiritual or religious or both, it is my great hope that no one hates anything with every fiber on their body. Only love dissipates hate. And to those who believe religion keeps people from advancing or living in the dark, it is only hate that keeps one living in the dark.

  31. salma says:

    سبحان الله العظيم

    هَذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

  32. salma says:

    Such is the Creation of Allah: now show Me what is there that others besides Him have created; nay, but the Transgressors are in manifest error.

  33. Odeikei says:

    The first time I encountered the facts about the size of the universe was at an Astronomy class at university. I was just fascinated by the sizes, by the fact that even in the Solar system our Earth is merely more than an observational error, and that even our galaxy is only one of the billions of others, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. It really shows the insignificance of mankind, and i find that very important in times when I think about “big things” of my live. You may call that “spirituality”, but I am complitely atheist. I think that that shows us better than anything that we are nothing special, that we are not supreme to animals, palnts, or even rocks in the sense that we are part of the nature in the same way, not some “the best creations” of a creator who are destenied to rule everything.
    Another interesting fact that most of the atoms of our bodys (only excluding hydrogen and helium) have once been a part of a star, where they were born in fusion, or in case of heavier elements than iron, were created in a supernova.
    Anyway I am glad that there are religious persons who are interested in the facts about the world, and not bigot zealots who think science is from the devil.

  34. Brian Upholz says:

    I noticed in the last comment made by the individual who identifies him or herself with atheism that humans are not so special after all. However, the realization that all forms of life and matter are interconnected is a seed of awakening in existence. It is realizing that all things are part of the sacred dance of life. Belief or no belief in a creator does not prevent one from cultivating the beautiful and transformative qualities of spiritual awakening.
    With metta,

  35. Odeikei says:

    Well I didn’t quite mean that like interconnection in a spiritual way. I meant it like that becouse we are all matter, we are subjected to the same laws of nature as everything else, and there is no escape of this by divine forces. I found out that in many religions one of the main thoughts is that humans were “made to god’s own like”, and thus are supreme. And becouse of this, many are hostile toward knowledge of nature, becouse that shows us how false is that. For example, many religious people cant cope with the fact that humans, however developed, are taxanomically animals. Many of them also cant think that in fact, many animals have cognitition that are in some aspects quite like human cognition.

  36. Hanzilla says:

    Although I’m sure the idea of being made in God’s image contributes to the aversion towards humans being classified as animals, I think a lot of it is simply due to the difficulty most people have of transitioning from common language to technical language. It’s taxonomically correct to call a human an animal, but this is usually demeaning in common language. I think that’s the main reason they can’t cope with the fact that humans are taxonomically animals. I’m a Christian, but I’ve never had a problem with humans being animals in the technical sense of the word, even though I believe mankind was made in likeness of God.

  37. Brian Upholz says:

    To odeikei’s last post. For a moment try and put aside the word “spiritual”. This is just a word right? Let me explain it this way. If I close my eyes and sit very still and begin to envision the cosmos as I sit very still, I can see all the majesty that is the cosmos. It is within me. It is within us all. It is not my mind per se that sees these things. The universe outside us is really inside us. As the axiom goes, as above so below. I can sense the cosmos within this body and mind and it is this Awareness that brigs me a sense of interconnection. It isnt necessary to compartmentalize such things as being spiritual or non. The spiritual can be found anywhere and in anything. So it’s really just an interpretation, or even beyond that its just how finely tuned your awareness is of all that is. No need to feel we are nothing of significance. No need to feel we are supreme. However we are the architects of our own reality and thus we must be our own lamps to illuminate our own path.

  38. BlueOwl358 says:

    I have looked at these images on different places and websites, but I can never stop looking at them. I mean wonder, man can’t even imagine this! This is a clear sign from the Lord, God is most great! He is most great, most great, most great.

  39. kamaran says:

    Alah is the greatest , There is no God without Allah

  40. Ray Fowler says:

    Kamaran – I believe the God who created the world is one God who exists eternally as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus of Nazareth was the eternal Son who became a human being and died on the cross for our sins. I believe he rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven and will return. I believe God gave us a written revelation of these truths through the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures. I pray that you also will come to see this as true. Jesus died to forgive the sins of all who believe in him.

  41. Michael says:

    “As to thy question concerning the worlds of God. Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

    And to the discouraging and petty arguments: “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”
    ― Bahá’u’lláh

    Allah’u’abha (God is Glorious)…keep your eyes on God’s will for your life and off the manner that others perform that will

  42. Joseph says:

    Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke. In two days He determined them as seven heavens and revealed, in every heaven, its own mandate. (Qur’an, 41:11-12), I found it interesting that the quran had this to say about the heavens over 1400 yrs ago.
    1. Troposphere

    2. Stratosphere

    3. Mesosphere

    4. Thermosphere

    5. Exosphere

    6. Ionosphere

    7. Magnetosphere

  43. Vicky says:

    Quality images youve got there and excellent post
    Great is our God. He is God over everything.

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