This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
Before human beings entered the road of scientific and technological development, our understanding of the world and the universe was extremely limited. Take the earth we live on. In ancient times, people only knew that the earth was very big, but they didn’t know how big it was. In ancient times, people didn’t know much about the starry sky. Long ago, people thought that the earth was the center of the universe, and the stars, the moon and the sun in the sky were all part of the earth.
But with the development of human beings, especially after entering the era of science and technology, we know that the earth is not infinite, but a limited planet. We also know that the sun is much bigger than the earth, but we can’t really feel the vastness of the universe and the smallness of the earth before we really walk out of the earth. Only when we really walk out of the earth can we know how small the earth is in front of the universe.
Many people may know that the universe is vast and the earth is small, but many people may not know how small the earth is in the universe. Today, let’s discuss how small the earth is in front of the vast universe.
After human beings enter the era of science and technology, we know the macro and micro concepts. We know that the world we can see is a macro world. We can see the size of an object and know how big an object is through intuitive cognition. This is a macro cognition.
But we also know that in the deeper part of the macro world, there is a micro world. We can’t see micro things with the naked eye. For example, an object is composed of molecules and atoms, and we can’t see molecules and atoms directly. There are also some tiny life, such as bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, which we can’t see directly. Another example is the tiny sand, which is insignificant in our eyes, but the sand also has a wonderful micro world.
So how do we see the micro world of objects? I believe many people know that magnifying an object many times, such as magnifying a drop of water with a microscope, we can see the bacteria in the water. Magnifying the sand more than 300 times, we can see the wonderful world in the sand.
The same is true of the vastness of the universe and the smallness of the earth. The vast universe is equivalent to those macro huge objects that we see on the earth, and the earth is the thing in the micro world deep in this macro object. We can’t see it with naked eyes, we can only observe it through a microscope. But if you really understand the vastness of the universe, you will find that maybe you can’t see the earth under the super microscope, it’s too small.
Let’s first understand the vastness of the universe. After we walk out of the earth, we will first see the huge sun. The volume of the sun is equivalent to 1.3 million earths, and the diameter of the earth is about 12756 kilometers. In the eyes of human beings, this scale is very large. If we rely on walking, we may not travel around the whole earth in our whole life.
The earth is already tiny in front of the sun, and the galaxy where the earth is located is called the solar system. The solar system, including the Oort nebula, has a diameter of 2 light-years. It will take tens of thousands of years for voyager-1 to cross this range. In Voyager 1’s eyes, the solar system is too big. However, when we walk out of the solar system and recognize the Milky way, we find that the solar system is as small as a grain of dust in front of the Milky way.
The diameter of the Milky way is at least 100000 light-years. Within this range, there are hundreds of billions of galaxies as large as the solar system. Spaceships fly at the speed of light, and it takes at least 100000 years to get out of the Milky way. Do you think the Milky way is big? If you think the Milky way is very big, it’s because you didn’t walk out of the Milky way. When you walk out of the Milky way, you will find that the Milky way is as small as a grain of dust.
With the current technology of human beings, the universe can be observed in 93 billion light-years. What a huge range it is, it’s beyond our imagination. In this vast observable universe, there are at least 100 billion galaxies like the Milky way. How small is the Milky way. From the above, we can see that the earth is as small as dust, the solar system is as small as dust, and the Milky way is as small as dust.
When we think that the observable universe of 93 billion light-years is too large to imagine, you may not think that 93 billion light-years may also be just a piece of dust in the whole universe. Since its birth 13.8 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding faster than the speed of light. Because we don’t know the average expansion speed of the universe, we naturally don’t know how large the universe is now.
Although we don’t know how big the universe is now, we know that the 93 billion light-years that humans can observe is just the tip of the iceberg of the universe. The reason is very simple. It’s only about a hundred years since human beings really began to observe and explore space. Compared with the vast universe, the current science and technology is still very backward. We have no ability to go out of the solar system, to fly at the speed of light, let alone to fly beyond the speed of light.
With only a hundred years of space exploration technology, it is impossible to detect the edge of the universe, and the scope of detection is extremely limited. In another thousand or ten thousand years, it is believed that the scope of the observable universe will be even more vast, which may be tens, hundreds or even thousands of times larger than that of the present observable universe.
It can be seen that the observable cosmic range of 93 billion light-years is as small as a grain of dust, so what is the earth on the scale of 93 billion light-years? How small is it? If the observable universe is scaled down to the size of a person, we can’t see the existence of the earth with the naked eye. At this time, even if we use the super microscope, we may not be able to do it. With the current human technology, the maximum magnification of the microscope is only 1000 times. Naturally, we can’t see the existence of the earth with this magnification.
Within the scope of the observable universe at present, the earth is too small to be seen by the super microscope, let alone the whole universe. The earth is too small to be understood, and we can’t describe it in words.
Therefore, with the rapid development of human science and technology, the more we know about the universe, the more we will be awed by it. Some people say that human beings have not found any alien civilization, which indicates that human beings may be the only intelligent civilization in the universe. After reading this article and knowing the smallness of the earth and the vastness of the universe, will you still have such a cognition?
I believe that no one will have this kind of cognition, just like a very small bacteria, it can only see a very small range, in this range there is no other life, bacteria will mistakenly think that the whole world is only their kind of creatures. But the truth is that we all know how vast the world outside bacteria is and how rich life is.
In the same way, human science and technology restrict human’s cognition of the universe. The universe that we can recognize now may be just a big place. Only with the rapid development of science and technology, we can break through this big place, maybe we can see a broader space, in which there are countless kinds of life beyond our imagination.
Guys, what do you think of this? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.