Monday, January 4, 2010

Good Internet Monday - Scale of the Solar System

Christmas Vacation != Actual Vacation. Details forthcoming.

Anyway, here's a link that's been sitting in a Firefox tab for some time. I either stole it from Pharyngula or Bad Astronomy; I can't remember which (those are good blogs that you should be reading if you're not already.) It's the solar system correctly scaled. Be prepared to do some hardcore scrolling to find the planets.

Demonstrations like these are important. It's hard to grasp the vastness and emptiness of our solar system. In a presentation about the feasibility of traveling to Uranus, I learned that the largest barrier was simply the distance to reach the planet. It would take 21 years to arrive there. Think about that. If your child was born on the day the mission launched, you could legally (in the U.S.) share a champagne toast with him or her as they would be celebrating their 21st birthday.

Note: to zip directly to a particular planet, add #planetname to the end of the URL.


  1. Alas, that was the most depressing part of the fact that most of the work I did for Sushil was on Neptune. I knew the odds of a mission to get real data about our models was pretty slim. But boy will I be excited the day they have one!!!

  2. Pretty disheartening, eh? And there are some neat things about Uranus- an unusual magnetosphere is particularly interesting to me; the moons are supposedly quite special as well.