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The Sweden Solar System (wikipedia.org)
195 points by acangiano on Feb 15, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

For another fun scale-comparing trick, if you had a model of the whole visible universe, somehow flattened into 2D, with the distance between Sol and Alpha Centauri being around a millimeter, you should be able to fit the whole thing on a half of the Earth's surface.

With the Sweden Solar System scale, Alpha Centauri would be around five times the distance to the Moon out, so there's still a bit of a hurdle visualizing how the two scales fit together.

Earth is just shy of 8 km from the sun in this model. ...which reminds me that we're 8 light minutes out from the sun. So the 1:20 million scale happens to fall pretty close to a 1km:1 light minute scale!

units(1) confirms this (and groks "light minute" - huh!). 1 km : 1 lm is 1:18 million - within 10%.

To get a feel for how vast interstellar distances are, if we wanted to place Alpha Centauri on the Swedish solar system map, we'd have to put it 5x further from Sweden than the moon - at this insane scale, interstellar distances still require interplanetary distances!

This was in today's "Now I Know" newsletter (http://dlewis.net/nik/) which is run by Dan Lewis who is on HN. Highly recommend it for great finds like this.

Thanks for the mention :) I publish an issue daily. It's a passion (and sometimes a headache)... so much neat stuff out there, need a way to share it. Glad to have other HN ppl reading :)

I am Swedish and had no idea. Truly TIL!

Me too, from Stockholm and I see Globen every day, and I had no idea about this. Cool!

I didn't even know Globen was the world's largest hemispherical building :)

I live just down the road from Globen. My kid is gonna like this.

Zagreb, Croatia has the same thing. Most people just notice the sun, but I took my time and found all of them.


There's a nice one around Boston (much smaller, obviously, but might be more accessible for HN readers): http://www.mos.org/sln/wtu/css.html

Very impressive - Wikipedia also has a good page listing other examples around the world, including instructions on how to build your own (presumably, over a slightly smaller distance) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_system_model

One of them is my home city, Hradec Kralove. It's a very nice walk, makes one to realize the vast distances in space. The Swedish one is much cooler though :)

Very nice, I had no idea. There's a similar solar system where I grew up[1], scale is 1:1 billion. Easier to walk but not as impressive as the one in Sweden.

[1] http://www.planetstien.dk/Planetarypath.htm

There's a similar solar system where I grew up, too. Scale is 1:1.

I wonder if they slowly move the bodies that have elliptical orbits.

Very impressive. Not only are the distances in proportion, but also the sizes and the sizes to the distances.

Didn't know this was possible.

This is one of those things people are going to talk about in 3000 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Correlation_Theory

Lots of books about 'were the ancient swedes aliens' - who came to earth in a flat pack spaceship?

Finnish Solar Model http://www.ursa.fi/ursa/aurinkokuntamalli/eng/

I visited all the inner planets recently by biking around the city.

"the world's largest permanent scale model of the solar system. " Right, last I heard our continents move. Yes this wont change tomorrow or any time soon, but its still not permanent. Not so long ago (whats 250 million years in respect to the universe) all the continents where connected: http://www.newgeology.us/Pangea.png

I'm not trolling, its just not permanent. Anyway I love that Pluto is there. It will always be a plant to me even though it was dropped from our solar system.

Continents move but Sweden is pretty far from the edges, making the whole installment pretty set, tectonic plate wise.

Still not permanent with your definition though, as we all eventually will stop existing.

My friend I think you missed a great HN article: 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal (http://apps.ycombinator.com/item?id=2201469) I think if someone really wanted to, they could witness this phenomenon. =)

Sagan Planet Walk in Ithaca, NY: http://www.sciencenter.org/saganpw/map.asp

The sun is located a couple of kilometers from my home. Another planet about 20 meters from my workspace and I've only known about it since a month back when a guy from London told me about it. It's well hidden, right in front of our eyes.

And Zurich! Made for an awesome hike. But we never made it to Pluto. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/11/visiting-zrich/

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