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The Scale of the Universe

 
Bear Bibeault
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This site is way too cool! It takes a long time to load so give it a chance before you give up.

http://htwins.net/scale2/
 
Koen Aerts
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Very cool indeed.
 
fred rosenberger
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Haven't seen it yet, but I do know this...

If the Earth was the size of a basketball, the International Space Station would be about 1 cm above the surface. That's as far as we can get a human today.

By contrast, 40 years ago, we were sending humans to the moon, which at the same scale is (IIRC) roughly 8.5 meters away.

If my math is correct (and it may not be), the Sun would be about 1.5 kilometers away.

and even that distance is insignificant when you get into the size of the galaxy...
 
Koen Aerts
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What scale is that? Any idea how far from Earth the Voyager spacecrafts currently are in that scale?
 
Bear Bibeault
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Koen Aerts wrote:What scale is that?

The basketball scale.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Wolfram Alpha failed me, so I had to do the math myself. The "basketball scale" is 1 in 53911184.51613 (rounded to 5 figures) or 1.855 x 10-8
 
Chris Baron
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Very nice!
Minecraft World at 10^7.7
Somehow i was expecting "your mom" as last entry. I've been on reddit too often
 
fred rosenberger
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Koen Aerts wrote:What scale is that?

I don't think there is an official name for that scale. It is just something that one of my favorite bloggers, Phil Plait, uses. Most people are familiar with the size of a basketball, and are often amazed at the 1 cm vs. 8 meter difference.
 
Jesper de Jong
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fred rosenberger wrote:If my math is correct (and it may not be), the Sun would be about 1.5 kilometers away.

Bear Bibeault wrote:Wolfram Alpha failed me, so I had to do the math myself. The "basketball scale" is 1 in 53911184.51613 (rounded to 5 figures) or 1.855 x 10-8

According to Wikipedia, the circumference of a basketball is 75 cm. The circumference of Earth at the equator is 40,000 km. So that would mean the basketball scale is indeed approximately what Bear said (if you divide those numbers it's 1.875 x 10-8).

The average distance to the Sun is 150 million km, so at the basketball scale that would be about 2.8 km.

The average distance to the Moon is about 380,000 km, so at the basketball scale that would be about 7.1 m.

A few years ago I was visiting a friend who lives in Z├╝rich, Switzerland. Near to his home was a park with a scale model of the Solar System. It was a lot smaller than the basketball scale, I think the Earth was about an inch across. The Sun was a large ball, I think 1 or 1.5 m across. The whole model was a few hundred meters long.
 
adam prore
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Hello guys,universe scale is good one its very helpful for the first man who was go to the moon with the help of the scale but i think if earth is so closeed to the erath what did you said when all universe things destroyed and this sun is near to the point of 1.5km..what did you think about it??its right or not ??
 
Michael Matola
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You may enjoy Powers of Ten by the Eameses.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powers_of_Ten (page references The Scale of the Universe 2)
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Wow.
 
Martin Vajsar
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The cosmic scales are truly unimaginable. I especially love one description of the size of the largest known star: if you take a commercial airliner and have it go around that star (assuming melt-proof aircraft and a really big fleet of aircraft tankers, of course ), it would take a thousand years to fly around the star's equator once!
 
fred rosenberger
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Something else I read recently...

When viewing the sun (btw...DON'T), the center is closer than the edges (since it is a sphere-ish like object). That means the light from the outside of the disk we see takes longer to get here than the center. The sun is so large that this makes a difference of about 2.5 seconds. In other words, the edge of the sun we see is 2.5 seconds younger than the center.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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fred rosenberger wrote:The sun is so large that this makes a difference of about 2.5 seconds.


This didn't sound right to me so I did the math -- and it checks out! Sun diameter ~ 865K miles, distance ~93M miles, time for light to reach earth ~8.3 minutes. The sun is surprisingly large compared to its distance from us -- close to 1% of the distance.
 
fred rosenberger
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Phil Plait tweeted that a few weeks ago...I would hope he'd be right!!!
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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