The solar system, were the moon a single pixel


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Because I’m impatient I immediately scrolled all the way to the end of the map. The final line was awe-inspiring, fascinating, and also depressing. That’s the problem with space. There’s so much of it.


It’s a slick bit of browser play, but reading the text version in the page source was equally enjoyable.


Very cool! Clicking on the planets is cheating, though. You have to really feel the scrolling…

And… Sorry to be this guy, but the grammatical error in the headline of that page is really noticeable in size 72 font…


I scrolled through the whole thing with the right arrow key. Took a while, and puts the vastness of our “neighborhood” and tinyness of our planet into scale. I especially liked the comment “we each carry a tiny emotional version of the universe in our minds”.


My Intro to Astronomy professor had one student hold an end of a roll of string labeled “Sun”. The roll of string was marked with relative distances, and he had another student take the roll and walk away from the first student. The room was a big amphitheater type with seating for ~300+ people and I recall that student circling the room repeatedly before we even got to Jupiter. It was a great display of the distances involved in space, as is this page (even though I cheated and went to the page source to read it).

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In case you’re wondering, you’d need about 2000 feature-length movies to occupy that many waking hours.

Or a few copies of Civ V.


While he met the “are we there yet?” requirement, the obligatory Burma-Shave moment just sailed on by… ::sigh:: youth is wasted on the young.

From a 1955 promotion:
Free — Free
A Trip
To Mars
For 900
Empty Jars

(source: a fun 3-minute read at Snopes)


If the audience were math literate,then a logarithmic scale would have conveyed exactly the same emotional message in far less browser-space.

I did an aural version of this two times back when I taught astronomy. I had (dating myself here) an Applescript that played a tone just before I started by inaugural class lecture, and then would play the tone again at set intervals.

At the fourth tone, eight minutes in, I would then tell them what the tones were – the light-travel time from the surface of the Sun to the planets in sequence. Jupiter would ring in towards the end of the lecture, and I would tell them to set an alarm for 4.5 hours after class so they could mark when it got to Pluto.


I can’t believe that all of those giant letters are just floating out there in space.


Thank you for the snopes link, that was well worth reading. While I absolutely detest what consumer culture has become, it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t always this way.

I’m quite math literate by common standards, and I disagree vehemently about it being emotionally similar. People are accustomed to roughly constant speeds of travel, and this is what is conveyed by the effort required to keep scrolling. Browser-space isn’t exactly a scarce commodity.



I just did the math. Scrolling at the top speed I can swipe along my trackpad is equivalent to flying at something like 30 times the speed of light. Whoa.

There’s a street in Copenhagen with a series of allegorical amphoras amphorices representing the planets, set at intervals vaguely corresponding to their solar-system proportions, even if the sizes are wrong. Inviting jokes about “What’s a Greek urn?”

Unfortunately someone had broken Uranus.

Only the planet-bound actually travel at constant velocity, so you’d expect those poor sops to be impressed. If the browser scroll could support constant acceleration, that would’ve been cool.

I recently did a similar thing with my youngest - got him to look up the planets, their sizes and relative distances from the Sun. We then created a 3D model of the whole thing in Unity and concluded that space was astronomically big. The Sun is also quite large :slight_smile:

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Website is blocked in Russia, apparently… Roscomnadzor claims it contains extremist materials…
Probably, the whole blog-platform or hosting server is blocked by IP…

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