logo
A Sense of Scale Page 3

The Nearest Stars within 10 light years

When we go beyond the Solar System and continue to use the same scale model, the nearest star Prox. Centauri, which has a distance of 4.5 light years, is at 40 km.

Within a bubble of 10 light years there are about 30 neighbouring stars. This bubble in our scale model will have a radius of about 95 km. Notice that the size of our Sun is still 1.4 mm, Prox. Centauri a lot smaller at 0.2 mm and the other stars ranging in size up to 2.8 mm (Procyon).

So in our scale model we merely have grains of sand for the stars at mutual distances in the order of 50 - 100 km. This gives an idea about how empty space really is. How is that when we go further out?

Image: Atlas of the Universe

 

10 light years is 95 km in our scale model. So we have a bubble with a diameter of 190 km that contains about 30 stars at the size of a grain of sand. The average distance between these grains is about 60 km.

Just imagine this scale model of the immediate vicinity of our Sun.