The Sheer Scope of Our Solar System Illustrated Three Different Ways
Solar System to scale

We all know our solar system is big. It took three years for the Voyager probes to reach Saturn. New Horizons travelled 3 billion miles over more than nine years to reach Pluto. These numbers tell us the solar system is huge. But to truly grasp the scale, we need to see it.

Seven Miles of Desert

One of the most famous photographs ever was taken on December 7, 1972. The Apollo 17 crew were about 28,000 miles away when they snapped the iconic ‘Blue Marble’ photograph.

Iconic Blue Marble Earth image

What if you created a to-scale model of the solar system with Earth the size of a small blue marble?

Wylie Overstreet, Alex Gorosh and some friends ventured to a dry lakebed in Nevada to do just that. They even went the extra distance and added in planetary orbits.

Earth tiny marble

Earth to-scale model

Give the 7-minute video a watch, you won’t be disappointed.

And check out the behind the scenes look at creating a to-scale solar system in a dry lakebed.

One Pixel Moon

You may have seen this one before, but it’s still awesome.

one pixel moon

What if the moon was just a pixel big? Artist and designer Josh Work created an awesome web page called “If the moon were only one pixel.” Your mouse’s scroll wheel is about to get a ton of work.

Riding Light

The record for the fastest man-made object ever belongs to Helios 2. The probe was launched in 1974 to study solar processes. During its mission, it set a maximum speed record of 157,078 miles per hour.

The fastest speed most of us can grasp is light, which moves at 670,616,629 miles per hour.

Seems fast, right? It is. But how fast is it when travelling through the solar system?

Riding Light from Alphonse Swinehart on Vimeo.

The video’s creator does admit he took some liberties with ignoring the laws of relativity and how time is experienced at the speed of light. Still, it’s an incredible video.

Which trip through our solar system did you enjoy the most? The to-scale model out in Nevada is awesome. The ‘To Scale’ team will continue to tackle the astounding scale of the cosmos in future videos. Next up? A to-scale model of an atom.

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