Can You Spot EARTH In This Stunning Image? If You Think You Can, Prepare To Be ASTONISHED

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THEY say size is all relative…and in this case it is certainly true.

This staggering image shows how our sun - which is so big it accounts for 99.86% of the mass in the solar system - would look next to the biggest star in the universe.

VY Canis Majoris is so large that it is impossible to even represent the earth in this picture as it would measure less than one thousandth of a single pixel.

Our sun, the tiny white speck bottom left, shown next to red hyper giant VY Canis Majoris


It is only possible to show the earth in a second image, as a tiny speck next to our own sun, which itself is utterly dwarfed in scale by Rigel - a blue supergiant that is the brightest star in the constellation Orion.

Rigel, too, is barely even visible compared to Canis Majoris.

The earth is just visible alongside our own sun, which is dwarfed by Rigel



The mindbending scale of the universe's largest bodies was laid bare at the International Astronomy Show, where researchers released a stunning new video which allows us to see for the first time how insignificant the Earth is, even in our own galaxy. Using CGI graphics it takes the viewer on tour through the Milky Way, comparing the Moon to the planets of the Solar System, which are dwarfed by our Sun, which is then, in turn, dwarfed by a series of bigger and bigger stars finally topped - in some style - by Canis Majoris.

Our Sun, about 93million miles from Earth, is known as a yellow dwarf star and has a circumference of more than 2.7m miles.

With a mass 333,000 times smaller you could put 109 Earths side by side across the face of the Sun - and it would take 1.3m Earths to fill it completely.

Our sun with the tiny Earth ringed

The larger star Rigel dwarfs our own sun (ringed) into insignificance

But monster Canis Majoris makes Rigel (ringed) look like a drop in the ocean
Each big object in space is part of a much larger structure - the large-scale structure of the visible universe. We only see a minuscule piece of the universe. Big is bigger than we can ever imagine.Emma Wride of the AstroCymru Project
VY Canis Majoris is the biggest type of star known as a red hyper giant.

It is 4,892 light years from Earth and has a circumference of 5.46billion miles - around 2,000 times that of our sun. It would take a passenger jet 1,100 years to fly round it once.

Being much further from its core though, the surface temperature of VY Canis Majoris is cooler than our sun at around 3,000C - compared to our star's 5,600C.

VY Canis Majoris is also near the end of its lifespan and is expected to explode as a supernova in the next 100,000 years - our's has around 5bn years to go before it burns out and envelopes the Solar System.

Into perspective: Our sun (ringed) against Rigel with the huge form of Canis Majoris lurking behind

Humans have always, wrongly, perceived the sun to be large

After VY Canis Majoris explodes its remaining core will be big enough to create a black hole.

French astronomer Jerome Laland was the first to record VY Canis Majoris in 1801.

Emma Wride of the AstroCymru Project, which aims to inspire the next generation of astronomers, revealed the video at the astronomy show.
She said: "It is a relatively recent discovery in the Milky Way.
Each big object in space is part of a much larger structure - the large-scale structure of the visible universe.
"We only see a minuscule piece of the universe. Big is bigger than we can ever imagine."
Despite its huge size, the video points out VY Canis Majoris remains nothing but a tiny speck in our own Milky Way, which has billions more stars. Beyond it lie hundreds of billions more galaxies, some many, many times bigger.


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VY Canis Majoris

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