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(we still love you)
That was about 10 million km (6,213,710 mi) just now.
Pretty empty out here.
Here comes our first planet...
As it turns out, things are pretty far apart.
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Most of space is just space.
Halfway home.
Destination: Mars!
It would take about seven months to travel this distance in a spaceship.   Better be some good in-flight entertainment.   5 Summer Party Flat Red Fall Spring Pink UK3 EU36 Wedding Satin amp;Amp; White Heel Ivory Women'S Blue Silver CN35 Black Purple Evening 5 US5 Winter In case you're wondering, you'd need about 2000 feature-length movies to occupy that many waking hours.
Sit back and relax. Jupiter is more than 3 times as far as we just traveled.
When are we gonna be there?
Seriously. When are we gonna be there?
This is where we might at least see some asteroids to wake us up. Blue US5 Party EU36 5 Pink Summer Women'S Flat Purple Winter Silver 5 Ivory Red CN35 Satin Evening Wedding Fall amp;Amp; White Spring UK3 Heel Black   Too bad they're all too small to appear on this map.
I spy, with my little eye... something black.
Satin Winter White US5 Evening Red Pink Heel Blue UK3 Women'S Fall amp;Amp; Wedding Black 5 5 Spring Ivory Purple Silver EU36 CN35 Party Flat Summer If you were on a road trip, driving at 75mi/hr, it would have taken you over 500 years to get here from earth.
All these distances are just averages, mind you.   The distance between planets really depends on where the two planets are in their orbits around the sun. 5 Spring US5 CN35 Wedding UK3 White Fall EU36 Evening Summer Ivory Winter Flat Blue Pink Heel Satin Red Black Purple Silver Women'S amp;Amp; Party 5   So if you're planning on taking a trip to Jupiter, you might want to use a different map.
If you plan it right, you can actually move relatively quickly between planets.   The New Horizons space craft that launched in 2006 only took 13 months to get to Jupiter.   Don't worry. It'll take a lot less than 13 months to scroll there.
Pretty close to Jupiter now.
Sorry. That was a lie before. Now we really are pretty close.
Lots of time to think out here...
Pop the champagne! We just passed 1 billion km.
I guess this is why most maps of the solar system aren't drawn to scale.   It's not hard to draw the planets.   It's the empty space that's a problem.
Most space charts leave out the most significant part – all the space.
We're used to dealing with things at a much smaller scale than this.
When it comes to things like the age of the earth, the number of snowflakes in Siberia, the national debt...5 Jogging Air Sports GFONE Shoes Trainers Fitness Trainers 3 Size Sneakers Women's BlackMesh Unisex 10 Men's Running wFnv6q0f   Those things are too much for our brains to handle.
We need to reduce things down to something we can see or experience directly in order to understand them.
We're always trying to come up with metaphors for big numbers. Even so, they never seem to work.
Let's try a few metaphors anyway...
You would need 886 of these screens lined up side-by-side to show this whole map at once.
If this map was printed from a quality printer (300 pixels per inch) the earth would be invisible, and the width of the paper would need to be 475 feet.   Silver Winter Party UK3 Ivory Spring White Flat 5 Black Summer Heel Satin amp;Amp; Women'S 5 Blue Wedding US5 Fall Pink CN35 Red EU36 Purple Evening 475 feet is about 1 and 1/2 football fields.
Even though we don’t really understand them, a lot can happen within these massive lengths of time and space.   A drop of water can carve out a canyon.   An amoeba can become a dolphin.   A star can collapse on itself.
It’s easy to disregard nothingness because there’s no thought available to encapsulate it. There’s no metaphor that fits because, by definition, once the nothingness becomes tangible, it ceases to exist.
It’s a good thing we have these tiny stars and planets, otherwise we’d have no point of reference at all. Heel Wedding Satin Evening Silver amp;Amp; Flat Winter Red 5 White Party Purple Pink Women'S Fall Spring Ivory Black EU36 US5 5 UK3 Summer CN35 Blue   We’d be surrounded by this stuff that our minds weren’t built to understand.
Blue Winter 5 Silver Women'S US5 Black Party Satin Spring Red UK3 White Flat Heel amp;Amp; EU36 Wedding Summer CN35 Pink Ivory Evening Purple Fall 5 All this emptiness really could drive you nuts. For instance, if you’re in a sensory deprivation tank for too long, your brain starts to make things up. You see and hear things that aren’t there.
The brain isn't built to handle "empty."
"Sorry, Humanity," says Evolution. "What with all the jaguars trying to eat you, the parasites in your fur, and the never-ending need for a decent steak, I was a little busy. I didn’t exactly have time to come up with a way to conceive of vast stretches of nothingness."
Neurologically speaking, we really only deal with matter of a certain size, and energy of a few select wavelengths. For everything else, we have to make up mental models and see if they match up to the tiny shreds of hard evidence that actually feel real.
The mental models provided by mathematics are extremely helpful when trying to make sense of these vast distances, but still...   Abstraction is pretty unsatisfying.
When you hear people talk about how, "there’s more to this universe than our minds can conceive of" it's usually a way to get you to go along with a half-baked plot point about UFOs or super-powers in a sci-fi series that you're watching late at night when you can’t get to sleep.
Even when Shakespeare wrote: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” – he's basically trying to give us a loophole to make the ghost in the story more believable.
But all this empty space, these things of a massive scale, really are more than our minds can conceive of. The maps and metaphors fail to do them justice.
You look at one tiny dot, then you look for the next tiny dot. Everything in between is inconsequential and fairly boring.
Emptiness is actually everywhere. It’s something like 99.9999999999999999999958% of the known universe.
Even an atom is mostly empty space.
If the proton of a hydrogen atom was the size of the sun on this map, we would need 11 more of these maps to show the average distance to the electron.
Some theories say all this emptiness is actually full of energy or dark matter and that nothing can truly be empty...   but come on, only ordinary matter has any meaning for us.
You could safely say the universe is a "whole lotta nothing."
If so much of the universe is made up of emptiness, what does that mean to people like us, living on a tiny speck in the middle of all of it?
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With so much emptiness, aren't stars, planets, and people just glitches in an otherwise elegant and uniform nothingness, like pieces of lint on a black sweater?
But without the tiny dots for it to stretch between, there would be no emptiness to measure, and for that matter, no one around to measure it.
You might say that so much emptiness makes the tiny bits of matter that much more meaningful - simply by the fact that, against all odds, they aren't empty.  Black Cross Modern MINITOO Heel Strap Dance Vintage Flared Cut Women's Shoes Classic Out Strappy Shoes q66xwnFEp If you're drowning in the middle of the ocean, a floating piece of driftwood is a pretty big deal.
What if trillions of stars and planets were crammed right next to each other? They wouldn't be special at all.
It seems like we are both pathetically insignificant, and miraculously important at the same time.
Whether you more strongly feel the monumental significance of tiny things or the massive void between them depends on who you are, and how your brain chemistry is balanced at a particular moment. We walk around with miniature, emotional versions of the universe inside of us.
amp;Amp; CN35 Pink Party White Ivory Blue Fall Women'S 5 Spring Wedding UK3 Flat Evening EU36 Silver Heel 5 Winter US5 Summer Purple Black Red Satin It's reassuring to know that no matter how depressingly bleak or ridiculously momentous we feel, the universe, judging by its current structure, seems well aware of both extremes.
The fact that you're here, in the midst of all this nothing, is pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.
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Might as well stop now. We'll need to scroll through 6,771 more maps like this before we see anything else. Back to  |  Follow me on Twitter UK3 Spring Red Fall Wedding Heel Party Ivory amp;Amp; US5 5 Summer Silver Satin Blue Evening Flat Black Winter Purple Women'S EU36 CN35 White Pink 5
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This is how fast light travels...
It's the fastest speed allowed by the universe...
If you're in a hurry to get somewhere in space...
you'll need to take it up with Mr. Einstein.