Pic of the Week: A Universal Scale

(If you were a subscriber to The Road Goes Ever On, from walkingamdg.wordpress.com, things may look a bit different. Don’t worry, I’m simply redesigning the site a bit, including adding a new custom address: BelievingAstronomer.com, with a focus on faith, science, literature, reflections, with news and reviews thrown in from time to time. A longer post will be added this weekend, as I am currently on retreat and this post is simply a pre-scheduled item that I set up at the end of December. Feel free to tell me what you think!)

From time to time, I will post interesting pictures from astronomy and cosmology, although expect a few surprises too… I’m talking science fiction, faith, or other branches of human knowledge that relate to this enterprise. This week, however, we look at the solar system. In fact, we look at how mind-bogglingly huge our solar system is through NASA’s own APOD, which, incidentally, has brought us a video rather than a picture. Enjoy!

From NASA:  Want to build a scale model Solar System? A blue marble 1.4 centimeters (about half an inch) across would be a good choice for a scale model Earth. Since the Sun is 109 times the diameter of Earth, a 1.5 meter diameter balloon could represent the Sun. But the distance between the Earth and Sun, 150 million kilometers, would translate to just under 180 meters (590 feet) at the same scale. That would mean the completed project, including the orbits of the outer planets, is probably not going to fit in your backyard. Still, you might find enough room on a dry lakebed. Check out this video for an inspirational road trip through the Solar System to scale.

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