The solar system to scale is hard to wrap your head around
A pair of filmmakers decided to build a model of the solar system to scale. It was so big they needed to head out to the desert to make it work.
“Space is big,” Douglas Adams famously wrote in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. “Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
It’s difficult to really conceptualize how big space really is. In some ways, it’s incomprehensible. The human brain can only accept things to a certain level – beyond that it’s just math.
To try to highlight that on a local scale (spatially speaking), a pair of filmmakers headed out to the desert in order to build a model of the solar system. The reason they went far outside the reach of civilization is simply because the model ended up being so incredibly large.
To bring this all to life, filmmakers Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet headed out to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. To build their solar system to scale, they needed roughly seven miles to create the orbits of the eight planets (sorry, Pluto). According to thisiscolossal.com, the entire design is working on a scale of 1:847,638,000.
to give that some context, the Model of Neptune alone was located 3.5 miles from the model’s sun.
To represent Earth in this massive model, the filmmakers used a glass sphere fitted with an LED, that’s roughly the size of a marble.
Take a moment to consider that.
Everything you know, every location you’ve seen and every person you’ve met is represented in a sphere the size of a marble, surrounded by a track that takes up nearly seven miles.
To really highlight the point, the filmmakers went to the mountains and filmed the “orbits” at night. Once you accept the scale, it’s incredible.
Check it out below.