If the Moon were only 1 pixel

Class, Universe

Someone named Josh Worth made a to-scale model of our solar system wherein the Moon is only one pixel in diameter, and it’s totally awesome. The horizontally-scrollable webpage starts at the Sun, and moves right, with text interspersed into the vast distance between planets. What’s so cool about this particular model is that it represents both distance and size to the same scale, something that I have seen very few, if any, models do before.

We talked pretty extensively about the scale of the universe early on in the semester, but it’s something else entirely to really experience that scale to some degree. Worth’s text between planets is poignant at times, discussing the significance of human life to the universe. I would guess it took me about 20 minutes to scroll and read from the Sun to Pluto, and I strongly recommend you do so too.

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6 thoughts on “If the Moon were only 1 pixel

  1. This is such a cool model! As you said, it really puts the scale of things into perspective. I think that the sheer amount of time needed to scroll from one planet to the next really illustrates the insane distances involved in our solar system. It is much more effective than a static infographic, as our interaction with it is what really allows us to understand the true scale of the cosmos. It also shows how remarkable it is that gravity is able to bind objects together that are so far apart. It would be interesting to see one of these made for “If the sun was one pixel” and see how far other stars / clusters / nebulae are from us.

  2. This is a really great model to see the size and distance to the same scale. The craziest part was when I was at Jupiter but my scroll bar was only about a third of the way across the screen! It was definitely worth scrolling and reading all the way through. Thanks!

  3. Whoa. Just whoa. I mean, I’ve done several “Solar System Walk” things and I know that things are far apart but maybe it’s that you’re just sitting there, holding down a button… And just think, there are stars (red supergiants) that are as large as the orbit of Mars, of Jupiter, of Uranus… They’re going to explode in supernova explosions but they’re HUGE!! Such a great find Drew – thanks! 🙂 I think I’ll use it in future classes… And with the gifted kids I teach in the summertime – they’ll LOVE it!

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