Yesterday humanity made history by successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever, thus bringing the scenario from Armageddon one step closer to becoming a reality. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which has been going on for the better part of a decade now, approached Comet 67P and unleashed its Philae lander, which touched down and started transmitting information back to Earth. It’s a momentous occasion for the species, and this ball of rock and ice hurtling through space is now the seventh heavenly body we’ve touched. We know this is a big form flying around out there, but it all sounds so abstract and can be hard to visualize. Fortunately for us, some folks out there have taken it upon themselves to put Comet 67P into a context we, as science fiction fans, can wrap our heads around.
Over at Nerdist, they took dimensions of the comet and compared it to the specs of various elements of popular science fiction, which, again, gives those of us familiar with such things a new way to think about this that makes sense to our pop culture addled brains. For instance, if you ask yourself, well, how does this compare to a Galaxy Class Starship from Star Trek? This handy image shows you just how it compares. It’s also much bigger than Deep Space 9, but is roughly equivalent to both the Borg Cube and a Federation Space Dock. So now you can picture just how big this thing is.
If Star Wars is more your thing, this picture puts 67P up next to the second Death Star, and there’s really no comparison. Once fully functional, the Empire could blast that out of the sky without so much as a second thought.
Though it is much smaller than the asteroid where Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, and the droids hide the Falcon in A New Hope…
…it’s still way bigger than many of our favorite starships from sci-fi, like Serenity…
…and even Galactica, which I always think of as being rather huge.
Here’s one that compares the comet to more terrestrial objects, things you could actually have seen in real life, you know, like Godzilla.
It’s not even just the nerds out there that are getting in on the action here. The Washington Post, about as mainstream a media outlet as you can get, came up with this handy little image. It gives you the shape, the size, the dimensions, and then, just for the hell of it, puts it up against an Imperial Star Destroyer.