Douglas Adams, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," said it best when it comes to the size of the universe:


"Space," it [the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space, listen..."


Space is so big that the distance between local stars in our galaxy is proportional to two grains of sand more than 30 miles apart.


Stepping out a few orders of magnitude and trying to comprehend how large entire galaxies are is just a small step to understanding how big galaxy clusters area before stepping up to the challenge of wrapping your head around the size of the observable universe. I mean, 46 billion light years is a bit of a haul.


Tom Murphy at the blog Do the Math has a good post about the relative size and emptiness of space.


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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.