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April 3, 2012 9:09 PM   Subscribe

OMG SPACE aims to illustrate the scale and the grandeur of our solar system, as well as illustrate through the use of infographics our work in the exploration of our solar system with various spacecraft.

All the planets on this website are to scale, including the sun and dwarf planets. The distances between each object and the sun are also to scale, and both the planets and relative distances are to scale with each other.

Infographics
posted by zamboni (19 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it just me or does space seem trendier these days? Maybe it's all due to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Space has always been cool.
posted by zamboni at 9:14 PM on April 3, 2012


Sure, but bacon was always tasty. I'm asking: Is space the new bacon?
posted by delmoi at 9:15 PM on April 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know, I think this is the first time I've seen a scale representation of the distance the Moon is from the Earth. It makes the Apollo program all that more amazing.

It's also interesting how thick the asteroid belt is.
posted by IAmDrWorm at 9:35 PM on April 3, 2012


The Earth as a Peppercorn is far, far cooler, especially if you actually take the walk.
posted by anadem at 9:46 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh, apparently we have a probe on the way to Pluto. We should get some nice high res images, right now the best images we have are from hubble, and are pretty blurry
posted by delmoi at 10:12 PM on April 3, 2012


Similar to the peppercorn walk, from Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything:
Such are the distances, in fact, that it isn’t possible, in any practical terms, to draw the solar system to scale. Even if you added lots of fold-out pages to your textbooks or used a really long sheet of poster paper, you wouldn’t come close. On a diagram of the solar system to scale, with Earth reduced to about the diameter of a pea, Jupiter would be over a thousand feet away and Pluto would be a mile and a half distant (and about the size of a bacterium, so you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway). On the same scale, Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, would be almost ten thousand miles away. Even if you shrank down everything so that Jupiter was as small as the period at the end of this sentence, and Pluto was no bigger than a molecule, Pluto would still be over thirty-five feet away.
I hate it when planetarium exhibits show space as being choc-a-bloc full of whirling planets and stars, with all the planets in the solar system visible from each other. The mind-blowing thing about space is not how full of stuff it is, but how empty and vast. Graphics that aren't to scale beguile people into thinking it would be possible to actually go to another earthlike planet if one was discovered, when it would likely take longer than human evolution to get there.
posted by benzenedream at 10:44 PM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I was exceeding the speed of light as I was scrolling down the page.
posted by bstreep at 11:27 PM on April 3, 2012


> I'm pretty sure I was exceeding the speed of light as I was scrolling down the page.

Going by the scale, I think light speed is ~463 pixels / s on that page. The grid in the background is 100x100 pixels, so using that to aim it's not too hard to scroll at roughly the speed of light. If I've got that right, then wow, light is slow compared to these distances.

Wikipedia's speed of light page has a great little animation of light travelling from the Earth to the Moon too.
posted by lucidium at 2:22 AM on April 4, 2012


Graphics that aren't to scale beguile people into thinking it would be possible to actually go to another earthlike planet if one was discovered, when it would likely take longer than human evolution to get there.
First of all, tons of earth like planets have been descovered.

Second of all, the the first* one of the closest habitable-zone "super earth" discovered around Gliese 581, which is just just 20 light years away. If you could travel at 1% the speed of light, you could arrive in just 2,000 years. 10%, and you'd reach it in 200 years. Homo Sapiens have been around for about 200k years, but Homo Ergaster showed up 1.8 million years ago. In order to reach Gliese 581 in 1.8 million years, you'd only need to travel at 7451 mph, which is a bit slower then the space shuttle.

And don't forget time dilation occurs if you get closer to the speed of light. So if you travel very fast, even if the trip is millions of light-years, it may not seem take very long.

*Actually, it looks like upon more calculation they decided that particular planet was not actually in the habitable zone, but then they discovered another planet around the same star that was. Wikipedia lists Kepler 22b as the first 'official' extra solar planet in it's stars habitable zone, and it might have a surface gravity around 2.4x earth. It's 600 lightyears way. I think the closest known planitary system is just 10 ly away, but only a gas giant is known for sure at this point, but it could have planets in the habitable zone.

We've also discovered a bunch of "Hot Neptunes" which is fun to say.

posted by delmoi at 2:36 AM on April 4, 2012


I like space almost as much as this guy right here. This is a pretty neat site! Thanks for the link.
posted by meowf at 3:23 AM on April 4, 2012


illustrate through the use of infographics

Some of those posters look like goatse.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:27 AM on April 4, 2012


The infographics are neat, and they get a special "attaboy" for actually having a guide explaining the graphics. However, I find it kind of odd that the Earth infographic includes Skylab, yet doesn't include the ISS.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:36 AM on April 4, 2012


YES, SPACE IS THE NEW BACON
posted by Tom-B at 4:42 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a good thing then that no one can hear you chew in space. (Great posters!)
posted by Iosephus at 6:11 AM on April 4, 2012


Scrolling forever through a regularly repeating star background brings back fine memories of the 1997 web.
posted by bendybendy at 6:49 AM on April 4, 2012


In space, no one can smell my bacon.
posted by straight at 7:10 AM on April 4, 2012


Cool concept, but I dont like how the concentric circles are being used — they immediately suggest orbits, but aren`t. Instead, it`s some arbitrary convention where each circle means a kind of mission. Confusing!
posted by Tom-B at 12:45 PM on April 4, 2012


Auroras Seen on Uranus For First Time
posted by homunculus at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2012


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