Last week while volunteering up at the Vis I took a picture of the Sun through the solar telescope on a whim. I noticed a large sunspot group on it, but didn't think anything else of it until this week when I learned that said sunspot group (called Active Region 1339) is one of the larger ones on record. I'd also heard somewhere along the line that it was larger than Earth, so I decided to do some visual comparing of my own. After seeing how Earth and Jupiter looked against the Sun, I decided to go all the way and add the rest of the planets. This image is the result. It shows the 8 planets of our Solar System against the Sun with AR 1339, all of them correctly sized relative to each other. (The distances between the planets are not to scale, due to the way I set up the picture.)
|Our Solar System.|
Edit (11/25/11): One other thing I like about this picture that I forgot to mention the first time is the sense of security it gives, when you really think about it. Stable orbits, despite their ubiquity in nature, are still nothing to take for granted, and it's sort of comforting seeing just how huge the Sun is compared to the Earth, and just how firmly we're caught in its gravitational embrace.
“Tremble before Him, all the Earth; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the Earth rejoice” -- 1 Chronicles 16:30-31a