4 posts tagged with nightsky.
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How big is space? Interactive views of the universe in varying scales

We know space is big, but trying to understand how big is tricky. Say you stare up at the sky and identify stars and constellations in a virtual planetarium, you can't quite fathom how far away all those stars are (previously, twice). Even if you could change your point of view and zoom around in space to really see 100,000 nearby stars (autoplaying ambient music, and there are actually 119,617 stars mapped in 3D space), it's still difficult to get a sense of scale. There's this static image of various items mapped on a log scale from XKCD (previously), and an interactive horizontal journey down from the sun to the heliosphere with OMG Space (previously). You can get a bit more dynamic with this interactive Scale of the Universe webpage (also available in with some variants, if you want the sequel [ previously, twice], the swirly, gravity-optional version that takes some time to load, and the wrong version [previously]), but that's just for the scale of objects, not of space itself. If you want to get spaced out, imagine if If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel, and travel from there (previously). This past March, BBC Future put out a really big infographic, which also takes a moment to load, but then you can see all sorts of things, from the surface of Earth out to the edge of our solar system.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 4, 2014 - 31 comments

From Seed

In commemoration of the 19th edition of its Colors series, Field Notes brand notebooks offers this video of the Night Sky. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Jun 17, 2013 - 32 comments


Stellarium. A free program which renders realistic skies in real time, and more. Handy for anyone who ever wrangled with one of these. And very cool to watch in fast forward.
posted by fire&wings on Nov 7, 2005 - 20 comments

So maybe rolling blackouts are a good thing.

So maybe rolling blackouts are a good thing. "Light pollution" means we don't see the universe today that we saw it when we were kids. What's the balance between being able to see that hazy something we know as the milky way (aka "us") and safe streets, aesthetics and convenience?
posted by dchase on Jul 14, 2001 - 9 comments

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