In Brief
Number Sleuth has created an awesome interactive graphic that lets you explore the universe, sliding all the way from the tiny nucleus of a hydrogen atom to the scale of the observable universe.

Trying to imagine the smallest things in our universe is a rather difficult task. Similarly, it is hard to truly conceive of the largest things in the cosmos — supermassive black holes, large quasar groups, and the most massive stars.

So, it’s not too surprising that simultaneously imagining the smallest of the small and the largest of the large is a mind-bendingly difficult task. Fortunately, the people at Number Sleuth have created an awesome interactive graphic that lets you do just that, sliding all the way from the tiny nucleus of a hydrogen atom to the scale of the observable universe.

The creators explain it best:

This interactive infographic illustrates the scale of over 100 items within the observable universe — ranging from animals and insects, nebulae and stars, to molecules and atoms. Numerous hot points along the zoom slider allow for direct access to planets, animals, atoms and more. As you scroll, a handy dial spins to show you your present magnification level.

While other sites have tried to magnify the universe, no one else has done so with real photographs and 3D renderings. To fully capture the awe of the vastly different sizes of the Pillars of Creation, Andromeda, the Sun, elephants, and HIV, you really need to see images, not just illustrations of these items.

Each time you zoom in a depth, you’re magnifying the universe 10x. Every time you zoom out, the bigger objects are one-tenth of their prior size. If you zoom from the biggest object, The Observable Universe (8.8 x 10E26 … or 880,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000m across), all the way down to the hydrogen atom’s proton nucleus (1.7 x 10E-15 … or 0.0000000000000017m across), you will have zoomed in over 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000x! Unbelievable isn’t it? Our universe really is immensely massive and surprisingly small.

Go ahead and start exploring the universe on Number Sleuth’s site.