Relative Magnitudes; ‘Geographicus Burritt’ (Huntington Chart of the Solar System), 1856.
I love me a good vintage infographic.
And here we have Lily Bui’s last pick. What if the solar system was a musical instrument? Find out here. (This does have auto-playing audio, just as an FYI friends).
This SolarBeat planetary music generator from White Vinyl design is super-peaceful to listen to, I’ve had it on in the background for like 15 minutes. Just think, every sonic moment in that orbital simulation is a real moment that has or could happen in our little corner of the universe.
That being said, it does seem like a slightly-more-polished clone of Daniel Starr-Tambor’s Mandala project (which I featured on OKTBS ages ago), a planetary musical palindrome consisting of 62 vigintillion notes, likely the largest palindrome in the known universe.
Watch/listen to Mandala below:
All the solid surfaces in the solar system (excluding gas giants) mapped as a map according to surface area. I recommend viewing it large, so you can see how “all human skin” relates to the surface areas of the solid solar system.
I love that Europa is next to Europe. Now I’d like to see someone synthesize a plate tectonics model for how the continent of Solaros (a name I just now invented) was formed.
If the moon were only 1 pixel on your screen, how big would the rest of the solar system be?
Just click this link, I beg you, and prepare to have your mind blown.
Absolutely amazing. Fantastic work by designer Josh Worth.
For a a different look at the problem of cosmic distance, check out my video “How Big is the Solar System?”:
And for lots more fun ways to look at the scale of the universe maybe watch this one called (naturally) "The Scale of the Universe":
Solar System Print (60x80 cm)
You know, no matter how many minimalist prints you draw up and post to Tumblr … PLUTO IS NOT COMING BACK TO PLANETHOOD.
Despite that, I love the style on this one. Scale’s a little off, though:
If you want to learn more about the scale of the solar system, I’ve got a video for that.
Neat: Planet Resizer shows how planets and their moons compare from various perspectives.
Big Jupiter is still big.
Check out my YouTube episode "How Big Is The Solar System?" if you want to dig into not only how big these bodies are, but also how far apart they are.
Hint: VERY far apart.
Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, but hasn’t left the solar system. Here’s why:
Based on new analysis of data collected by Voyager 1, NASA determined that it entered interstellar space on or about August 25, 2012. See this post or this post from earlier today for more. But it hasn’t exited the solar system.
There’s lots more detail in this article from NASA, but in essence interstellar space begins when our sun’s solar wind ceases to blow. Normally, its outward breath of charged particles inflates the inner solar system in a protective bubble, keeping interstellar wind from sterilizing the whole lot of the planets. That point at which the solar wind ceases to push outward and the charged particles of interstellar space take over is the border it’s just crossed.
But the solar system extends far beyond that. The Oort cloud is a proposed region nearly a light year away from the sun, dating from the formation of the solar system, full of icy debris and trapped comets, that is still subject to the gravitational effects of our home star (as well as neighboring stars). Sadly, Voyager 1 won’t reach the near border of the Oort cloud for at least 300 years, and its power source will be extinguished by 2025. Makes you wonder … where does the solar system really end?
So Voyager 1 is outside of the tent, but it’s still in camp.
The Solar System — our home in space, a whimsical educational animation by Kurzgesagt.
To be honest, the solar system always makes me smile, but especially when it’s presented like this.
Follow that with "How Big Is Our Solar System?"
RIP Bruce Murray, the man behind all those pictures of planets we love. This former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was the driving force behind photographic exploration of the solar system. What was once considered fluff is now a key part of any mission, from the ISS to the Curiosity rover. Imagine life without panoramic views of the Martian surface, or the Pale Blue Dot. I can’t.
From the LA Times obituary:
"…taking pictures became a key part of planetary exploration. The pictures did more than advance scientific knowledge of the solar system — they made the other planets seem real and fascinating to the American public."
Murray delivered a warning about the future priorities of space flight in a 1981 interview with Discover magazine, and those words still ring true:
"We’re sitting here watching the coffin being nailed shut, and what’s inside is imagination and vision."
Source: Los Angeles Times
I'm Joe Hanson, a Ph.D. biologist and science writer based in Austin, TX. I'm the creator/host/writer of PBS Digital Studios' It's Okay To Be Smart. Subscribe on YouTube by clicking below:
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