What is the size of the Earth compared to the Universe?

The Universe is not only immaculately expansive but it is also unbelievably immense in that inner, more detailed way.

When comparing anything to the size of the Universe, you must consider not only the large scale, but also the microscopic scale of existence. When it comes to the Universe, you really need to use your imagination.

One United States football field measures 300 feet long x 150 feet wide.

One mile of length is equivalent to 5,280 feet and with these measurements, you could fit a football field into the length of one mile 17.6 times.

If every human on Earth were an average of 5.5' in height and also in arm span, then standing with arms outstretched, fingertip to fingertip, it would take at least 960 humans to span the distance of one mile.

If the current world population is 7.1 billion individuals and 960 humans are equal in distance to one mile, then the entire world population would span 7,395,833 miles if touching fingertip to fingertip (all measuring 5.5' in height and width). This number would allow mankind to circle the entire planet, with a circumference of 24,901 miles, 297 times.

If every human were 1 foot in thickness from back to stomach (more than average), then mankind would create a band around Earth no more than 297 feet thick (1/17th of one mile) after circling the planet 297 times.

The size of Earth

In diameter, the Earth is around 7,926 miles. This number is equal to 41,849,280 feet from one end of the Earth, through the middle and out to the opposite side of the planet.

Image by NASA

If you were to again take humans that were on average 5.5 feet tall, it would take 7,608,960 humans to span the distance of the Earths diameter (fingertip to fingertip). This number is just below the average population of the state of Virginia, or nearly the same as the population for the country of Honduras.

Compare the following numbers to the diameter of Earth (7,926 miles):

Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, reaches 5.5 miles above sea level (29,040 feet).

Flickr/shrimpo1967

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai measures 2,722 feet tall and would fit into Mount Everest 10.67 times. The Burj Khalifa is not one mile tall.

Image by Nepenthes

The Empire State Building, located in New York City, rises up to 1,454 feet. The Empire State Building could fit into the Burj Khalifa 1.87 times.

If humans were all 5.5 feet tall, it would take 264 humans standing from head to toe to match the height of the Empire State Building.

How far and how fast does light travel?

Imagine Earth from space. You turn to view an enormous mass of energy known as the Sun, a star. The light seen radiating from the star takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds (500 seconds total) to travel from the Sun, through space and finally to Earth, which only then is referred to as “daylight”.

The light that took 8 and a half minutes to travel from the Sun to the Earth was travelling at "said" 186,282.4 miles, or in other words, 23.5 times the diameter of Earth, per second.

Knowing the said speed of light, you can calculate the distance between Earth and the Sun, which is 93,141,200 miles (11,751 Earths).

Remember that is takes around 500 seconds for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth.

In one year (light year), light will travel 5,874,601,766,400 miles (5.9 trillion miles), or 741,199,448 times the diameter of Earth – or – 63,072 times the distance between the Sun and Earth. This all occurs within 525,949 minutes (one year).

How large is the Universe?

Now that you know the distance of light compared to the size of Earth, we can use light to measure the size of the Universe.

There are elliptical, spiral and irregular galaxies but the planet Earth and all of our solar system is located in a spiral galaxy known as the Milky Way. The Milky Way’s closest "spiral" neighbor is the Andromeda Galaxy, located nearly 2.5 million light years away. If mankind had the technology to travel at the speed of light, it would still take 2.5 million years to reach Andromeda!

The distance that light travels in one year (5.9 trillion miles) multiplied by the distance to Andromeda from the Milky Way (2.5 million light years) = 14,686,504,416,000,000,000 (14.7 quintillion) miles to Andromeda.

The visible Universe

NASA claims to have an estimate for how wide the "visible" or "observable" universe is. The observable Universe has an estimated diameter of 93 billion light years.

The visible Universe (if correctly estimated) is about 546,351,455,376,000,000,000,000 miles in diameter (546 sextillion miles).

Beyond the observable distance, the Universe "may continue infinitely".

Being a diameter alone, you have every other direction to consider (up, down, left, right, etc) and that is not including dimensions or what we may not yet, or ever, understand.

Earth would fit side by side from one side of the observable Universe to the other 68,931,548,747,918,243,754.7 times (68.9 quintillion).

Truly, how large is the Universe?

As massive as the Universe may seem, if not infinite, there is a size unnoticed by many which must be considered.

The depth of the Universe is deep and immense. So deep in fact that it does not only expand into a much larger field than we may ever understand, but at the same time, the Universe is immeasurably tiny.

In every corner, in every space among every location of existence, from one end of the Universe to the other – size is not only what we can see, but instead size is what we cannot see.

Returning from the edge of the Universe, back to our solar system and back to Earth, back to Mount Everest and back to our cities. Back to mankind and down to the size of an ant, who’s average height is 1mm, beyond the size of any insect and smaller than any germ, cell or particle – deep into the atomic Universe, further into what is theorized as the planck, who’s definition is that of which if the microscopic scale were to end, planck is the name that end would be given.

If it were to end.

Space may be infinite in every dimension.