Ignorance is bliss. I will now attempt to remove some of your ignorance so you can take a step closer to being a miserable bastard like me. One of the quickest ways to do this, and one of my favorite subjects, is the wonderful mind-fuck of how big the universe is. (The size of the universe is definitely part of What I Like about the Universe.)
My friend J(son) sent me an e-mail with pictures dealing with the scale of Earth in the universe. I could not get the graphic he sent to scale down to fit in Blogger and still maintain readable resolution, so some diligent Googling found a YouTube clip that uses the same source photos. Please note that this only deals with scale, not distance:
Serendipitously, I had been explaining to Red a few days before about Local Groups, Galaxy Clusters, and Superclusters, because the giant stars in that video only start to hurt your brain cells when you realize how far apart they all are. The Superclusters then form fibers and walls around mind-boggling voids. Imagine two sheets of paper with the Hubble deep field image printed on them making an X and nothing else around the X. This creates a "lumpy" universe until you get to a perimeter known as "The End of Greatness." This is where you are so far out that the lumpiness doesn't matter anymore. Everything becomes relatively uniform again. And that limit lies well within the Visible Universe, which is only a fraction of the Known Universe*.
Even our solar system is so much bigger than you think (without even getting into the 172 moons.) The orbits of the terrestrial planets all but disappear when you get to the Kuiper Belt where Pluto and Eris (the erstwhile 10th/12th planet) are. Then there is the orbit of Sedna (another planetoid) in the Scattered Disc region which is the inner extent of the Oort cloud where all the comets hang out. Then there is all this other crazy shit with the Sun's gravity and cosmic rays and then you have to go through all of that backwards to get to the next star. if you do that about 100,000 more times you may get across the Milky Way (the most deliciously named galaxy in the universe!) Then there are intergalactic distances before you get into the whole Local Group again.
I also found this History Chanel program chopped up into YouTube sized clips. I am going to watch this now. I will let you know how it ends. (Speaking of "how it ends," if you go by the popularly accepted expanding universe model, there has to be an end or an edge since the Big Bang occurred a finite amount of time in the past. So what is on the other side of that edge?)
Bonus mind-fuck: All of this shit, all of the matter and light and energy in the universe, is just a Weight Watchers sized wedge cut out of the pie chart of what the universe is comprised of. But then that is getting back into quantum mechanics.
*This is a clip manipulating a computer model of the known universe set very appropriately to some Pink Floyd. I am assuming that the bright node they are focusing on at the end is the Local Group with the Milky Way being the big bright disc and Andromeda the slightly smaller one.
Non-asterisked aside: For the Modest Mouse fans out there, here is a shot of the Moon(s) and Antarctica.