June 7, 2012
A Very Long Flight
To give you an idea of scale, the small sunspots you can see are around the size of the earth. Venus appears much bigger, but in fact it is just slightly smaller than earth. The reason it appears so large is that it is much closer than the sun. It is just over 1/4 of the distance from here to the sun, or about 30 million kilometers. That doesn't really mean much to us, but to give a sense of the distance, it would take an airliner 4.8 years to cover that distance. It takes light about 2 minutes to do the same trip.