It really gives a good feel for the massive difference in distances between the inner and outer solar system. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is in that vicinity.
Here are some approximate dimensions. In Miami the sun would be 9in or 22cm, the inner solar system could be depicted on a line 120ft or 35m long, and Pluto would be about 1000yds or 1km away.
Divide by two if the university is in San Francisco, which is about 2000 miles away from Anchorage rather than 4000. Or divide by ten if the university is in Alaska and the nearest star's model is only 400 miles away.
Helps with the planning process for building your own model solar system.
 - https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/reserves/...
 - https://www.caherdanieldarksky.com
There was a touring one that was in Cambridge (UK) recently and we thoroughly enjoyed walking it even if the walk to Pluto was quite far. Walking it in reverse order would have been better, perhaps. Didn't think of that.
Largest one being in Sweden, with a scale of 1:20,000,000 (spanning the whole country): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System_model
In comparison, both the Zurich and Netherlands one are 1:1,000,000,000
Would love to see something similar for bigger dimensions, e.g. distance to the nearest star, galaxy or exoplanet.
The entire Solar System is highly aberrant. Single star, instead of binary star. Then, a moon around earth, very large moon, besides, it is the same size in the sky (varying over time) as the sun, leading to different eclipses (like anular eclipses, which accurately measured a biblical event 4000 years ago, to the day, I think it was a Tuesday). Like everything is very unique, apparently.
You thought scrolling was slow? Wait until you experience the solar system at the actual speed of light.
I'm pleased he still loves Pluto.
Criteria could include: size or weight relative to the planet, distance to the planet, apparent size in the sky.
I'm less happy about the moon inflation in our solar system. It's pointless. I honestly find the claim that Jupiter has 79 moons misleading. A 1 km rock orbiting 20 million kilometers away, really? It's so far removed from what our moon is that we should not be using the same word to describe it. It's fine to call it a satellite.
People would probably have a better idea about our solar system if we taught them that we don't know how many planets are in the solar system, and told them we were going to have some extra focus on the 8 largest (or 13 largest, or 7, wherever you want to draw the line).
The IAU definition of planet (which wasn't the original proposal, and which most planetary scientists don't seem to follow) appears to be a conservative attempt to keep the number as close to the "traditional" number as possible, even if it leads people into having an overly simplistic conception of our solar system. And it leaves us with a loose definition that specifically states it only applies to our solar system, and doesn't apply anywhere else in the universe.
But seriously I always "knew" in the back of my mind that the universe is huge. But to have to wait 8+ minutes to scroll from Sun to Earth at the speed of light gives a new earth-shattering perspective.
At jet speed it takes best part of a month just to get to the moon, to get to the sun takes 17 years. To reach Neptune you’d have to have left about the same time Columbus visited America.
To be pedantic, no, not really. Commercial jets can travel at speeds up to 955 kilometres per hour (593 mph) (per wikipedia). The speed of sound is roughly 1235 kph (767 mph). Also note that commercial jets usually travel slower than their maximum speed to save fuel.
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel (2014) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27573172 - June 2021 (69 comments)
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel (2014) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21735528 - Dec 2019 (82 comments)
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A tediously accurate map of the solar system - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13790954 - March 2017 (81 comments)
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A tediously accurate map of the solar system - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13217129 - Dec 2016 (11 comments)
If the Moon Was Only 1 Pixel - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12038584 - July 2016 (4 comments)
If the moon were only 1 pixel: a scale model of the solar system - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7551423 - April 2014 (17 comments)
If The Moon Was Only 1 Pixel - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7341690 - March 2014 (178 comments)
I've had people try to "correct" my use of subjunctive... which truly saps my will to live.
This also holds for small things like atoms. They are mostly empty space, too. And for bigger things like galaxies.
Most other aspects seem to be "good" choices. Like limiting the speed of things. The way it is limited (as described by special relativity) is even really elegant. The uncertainty as described by quantum theory and how it is coupled to the observer is downright cool. I often think "Yes, if I made a universe from scratch, this seems like a nice choice to go with".
But that everything is so empty? I would not have made that choice, I think.
> I often think "Yes, if I made a universe from scratch, this seems like
> a nice choice to go with".
Not quite so simple, see: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/126512/why-doesn...
The downside is that you'll be waiting 4:47:50.88 to reach Pluto.
Alternatively, there's a planet browser on the top, but that kind of "cheating" kind of diminishes the point of the website.
Personally, I would've liked the website to scroll vertically instead. Shift+scroll isn't difficult, but it's a trick many people don't know about so relying on it (or on a touch screen, or a scroll bar at the bottom that completely defeats the sense of scale that scrolling leaves behind) is a bit annoying.
You can clear the entire screen in around 15 seconds if you go max speed!
Also, my OS usually allows me to change line skips per mouse wheel increment to three quarters of a page. That does not seem to work here.
Agreed, my other mouse is free-scrolling, it would be fun to scroll huge distances (IN SPACE!) there.
I initially found none of the helpers that scroll somewhere, but thanks for all the tips here and in other replies.
Mercury: 26m away, pinhead alike.
Venus: 49m away, pea alike.
Earth: 67m away, pea alike (again).
Mars: 103m away, small lentil alike.
Jupiter: 350m away, tennis ball alike.
Saturn: 645m away, golf ball alike.
Uranus: 1,3km~ away, 2€ coin alike.
Neptune: 2km~ away, 1€ coin alike.
PS. Forgot the most impressive info by far... in that "beach ballon=star" scale, our closest star neighbor is almost 7,000kms away!
Space is big. Space is empty. We are nothing to space.
CSS introduces space.
Seems appropriate that the technology represents itself on this page.
(Edit: turns out there's a ton of these, and while most don't have their own page, there's a page collecting them all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System_model)
It was featured on an episode of the kids TV show Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman.
If you haven’t done this before, go out into the desert or canyons or the Hoover dam (in the U.S.) and experience viscerally how tiny each of us is relative to nature.
Trying to hold that in my mind while also conceptualizing the distance to Mars, or the size of the sun … I can’t do it!
If you drove 88km an hour it would take you almost 40 hours to drive across 1 pixel!
Our solar system is big big big.
I used to do the math with my kids when they were young and first found out about division. My story would be lets drive to the moon. And then we would figure out how far it was and how fast we could drive.
I love that site.
“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is”
― Douglas Adams
Is cool that it's done in SVG. Here's Earth:
<circle cx="5" cy="5" r="5"></circle>
Is there a framebuffer containing the whole page, or is it a display list of vector objects that gets clipped by the page's bounding box?
On which platforms would this page cause the browser to run out of memory and crash?
I liked the philosophical musings on the theme of "nothing."
This was my fave:
> It seems like we are both pathetically insignificant, and miraculously important at the same time.
Imagine how glorious and huge the Earth must look like from the Moon.
I would have linked to the 'Blue Marble' picture but that was taken mid-flight rather than from the moon itself.
If the moon is a single pixel, how is it shown as a half moon
Shouldn't it be a single dot/pixel?
I wish we could see yet another live indicator on that map, a speed indicator of our scrolling in actual mph, km/h, AU, parsec, and speed of light.
this way we can see the speed of our scrolling!!