How small are we in the scale of the universe?

How small are we in the scale of the universe? 6
Yukai Du

“On the scale of a galaxy, let alone the universe, we’re smaller than we can readily comprehend, but we do have the capacity to wonder, to question, to explore, to investigate, and to imagine. So the next time you stand gazing up at the night sky, take a moment to think about the enormity of what is beyond your vision, out in the dark spaces between the stars.”

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SEETIES & THE UNIVERSE. UK-based illustrator and animator Yukai Du has created a short film for TED-Ed about the Hubble Space Telescope and how in 1995 it captured over 150 hours of one area revealing images of over 1500 distinct galaxies in one minute part of the universe. Yukai was tasked with animating educator Alex Hofeldt’s narration and she was given complete visual freedom (as long as the images went well with the voice over). The animation – titled How small are we in the scale of the universe? – has been created in a vibrant style with rich yellows, blues and reds that transport us to a creative and clear interpretation of the universe.


In 1995, NASA’s scientists pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at an area of the sky near the Big Dipper. The location was apparently empty, and the whole endeavor was risky – what, if anything, was going to show up? But what came back from that scientific mission was nothing short of spectacular: an image of over 1,500 galaxies glimmering in a tiny sliver of the universe. In this brief lesson, Alex Hofeldt helps us understand the scale of this image.

TED Lesson by Alex Hofeldt, animation by Yukai Du for Bliink. Hubble Deep Field Image Credit: R. Williams (STScI), the Hubble Deep Field Team, and NASA. | View Full Lesson