Archive for Betelgeuse

Its a Small World After All…Relative Sizes of Planets & Stars

Posted in astronomy, science with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

an exercise in orders of magnitude…

size of planets and stars

In the images above, the largest planet or star (meaning the big buddy hanging out on the far right) becomes the starting point for the next chart. Its quite impressive to imagine that which is SO big in one line-up being itsy bitsy at the start of the next.

Here’s what you’re looking at:

1) the Inner Planets by Size

  • Mercury
  • Mars
  • Venus
  • Earth (home)

2) Earth vs the Gas Giants

  • Earth-Home
  • Neptune
  • Uranus
  • Saturn
  • Jupiter

3) the shift from big planet to little star

  • Jupiter
  • some other guy
  • our Sun (a medium sized star)
  • Sirius (the brightest star in our night sky its in the dog constellation accompanying Orion)

the list goes on…

Betelgeuse, in addition to being Tim Burton’s greatest film, is the name of this super red giant (a pretty big category of star, also the final stages of a star’s life when they get huge and then go nova) featured in charts 5 & 6. If you are looking at the constellation of Orion (in the Northern Hemisphere you can find it in the Winter sky), Betelgeuse is Orion the Hunter’s shoulder– to the observer its the top left. You’ll notice its a little reddish.

The fact that Super Red Giants get even bigger than that blow my mind…

kinda puts things in perspective.

Indulge Yr inner Outer-Space Cadet,

Sunshine Superboy