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The road trip was long but worth it. Clouds started to come it so we decided to call it a night. The next morning we decided to explore the town which I recommend everyone to visit at least once in their life. That night we tracked Uranus for about an hour and then we watched other objects on our telescopes. Best thing you can see the Milky Way just by looking at the clear skies with your naked eye. The sprinklers came on and we had to stop but I was a lot of fun. When we were ready to come home, one of the VCAS members, Gary, came by and asked me if I wanted to write a small article for the website and I decided to tell small stories from the point of view of a child.

My mom is from Colombia and we try to visit as soon as we can.


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A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving we traveled to Medellin, Colombia. As part of my homeschooling curriculum, my dad scheduled us to go to the planetarium. A young man named Santiago was our docent for the first two floors. The first floor contained earth science and things we commonly see on earth apply to celestial objects, such as fog and magnetism.

The second floor was mainly about how gravity works and also contains the entrance to the dome. The Dome is what they call their theater and it is spherical and contains a presentation. Then we went to the next floor up and got another person as a docent. The third floor was about astrophysics and astrobiology. The main attraction was the simulations on space and black holes. They also have an astrobiology section were they talk about how we can study fossils and maybe learn facts that can help us find extraterrestrial life.

Last year saw a major discovery in the Solar System - our first definite evidence for a planet orbiting beyond Neptune, and a big one at that. It was speculated that a planet 10 times more massive than Earth was orbiting over times the distance of Earth from the Sun. If this planet truly does exist, then it will be the first major addition to the Solar System since the discovery of Neptune in , over years ago!

Although a case for its existence definitely wasn't easy to make, finding it has already proven even harder: already, numerous teams using the largest telescopes on Earth have searched the area of the sky that the planet is believed to lie in, and have yet to announce any discovery of the planet. However, while most of these search groups are private teams, one such project, funded by NASA, and launched only last week has not only made its search completely public, but has invited the public itself to help with the search.

This project is called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. In this project, users of all experience levels and backgrounds can view images taken by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer WISE telescope over a period of several years, looking for objects that appear to jump across the field. If you ever decide to start a cult, you can count me in! Not sure if I agree that looking in is easier than looking out. Wonderfully superb! Every school child should see this. As an old man, I have seen similar projects but none that so capably demonstrate the relative distances and sizes. Thank you for creating this — it shall be shared regularly.

What a journey! Great stuff! Now you need create another version where the Solar System is a pixel and then we will really feel very small. I loved taking Astronomy when I was in high school and this would have been really helpful! I think you were able to capture the distance between everything fairly well. All that emptiness is calming and reassuring in some way. When petty everyday things start to annoy, remembering how tiny we are in all that vastness will help.

Speaking for the design side of this equation, this is an amazing infographic. Elegant, simple, snarky and interesting. Made it all the way through. I love your philosophical questions. The comment about doing a little rocket ship navigation device that slows for comments is a neat idea. Overall though, wow. Love the thinking and the execution. Hey Josh, this is incredible! Pretty unreal! I think this is excellent, but I also think it would be improved if the text could appear dynamically as you scroll, so it could remain stationary and readable while you continue scrolling.

Should I point out the punctuation typo at km? Thank you!!! This is the best example I have seen of how vast our solar system is. I understand at last. Now if I can only get my 5 year old to understand…. Congratulations on a job well done! This morning, instead of ploughing through the news over breakfast, I ploughed through the solar system.

As you rightly comment, the emptiness of space is boggling. Much more so, than reading coverage of the Oscars Many thanks! Depends on the resolution. Someone please check my math. Thank you, Josh, for designing this experiment, your kinetic metaphor works very well! Thank you. Old browser maybe? Hi, just wanted to thank you for this wonder. Thank you again! Pretty cool! I liked the comments, and holding down the scroll bar makes you understand just how much space there is…really, if it automatically scrolled to the next planet, well, you might as well get a bedroom solar system mobile.

The original Whole Earth Catalog had projects teachers could do to help their students understand space and the solar system; use a roll of toilet paper and mark the planets on it; find household items like grapefruit and raisins to be planets and place them in a field, or use homemade signs along a road — sometimes your solar system stretches for miles!

I did a roadside one when my kids were in school learning about the solar system. Now I want to do one of an atom! Many thanks, this was a blast. Had a singularly challenging, empty day, feeling like nothing. Scrolling all the way through this gave me perspective. If this is the pattern, then it stands to reason that experiences of emptiness in the spirit holds significance as well. The emptiness gives weight to what IS there, making it significant. Very nice work. Thanks for the fix! I used the hidden y overflow option. Thanks for a absolutely superb communication of an essentially incommunicable understanding.

Kudos by the parsec. Very impressive! Just a thought. This is great! I actually had a similar idea to the rearview mirror that it would be nice to keep things in a perspective view of some kind until they would disappear anyway.

What came to mind for me was putting the whole trip more on the y axis than the x axis,.. Maybe a dual-viewport set of forward-looking and backward looking views would further aid perspective awareness.


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In Firefox 29 Aurora only browser tested , I have vertical scroll bars, in the event the fix you mentioned in a comment should already be in effect. Seconding all the adoring comments. I scrolled all the way by hand on ipad no automation visible, nor any scale numbers unfortunately — and it felt like a real achievement to get to the end.

The Planets: Sam Sun : Phamie Macdonald

Now… to clean the grease from the screen…. Beautiful work, very meticulously made. This is a great applet and I sent it out to a group of middle school science teachers to hopefully explore with their students. That said, I have a question, and I mean no disrespect. Would it be much more difficult to replace the larger planets with actual images? It would be nice, after all that scrolling, to get a 2D picture of Jupiter rather than an orange circle.

Anyway, thanks for the page! Outstanding job, Josh!

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Hi, can i duplicate the page to do a french translation. I respect your work and your copyright and i will explain that is your original idea and your property. Hey man, great job.

Sentences to Remember the Size of the Planets

The ruler gives a much clearer sense of distance. Just a tip: would be better if the comments just appeared static momentarily perhaps at the top below the symbols instead of passing by. Other than that, great stuff. Loved it, Josh. Quite an abbreviated trip! So, size is relative. The following example has shown up in many places, one being on physics.

So much space Everywhere. Thanks for putting your map out in cyber space! Great work! I was thinking about what would be a good model to show the scale of the universe in the web just two days ago. The thought came up right after I woke up and realized that I had probably been re-living in a dream an actual day in in high school when we imagined a model.

Sun 101 - National Geographic

In our model, the pixel was the head of a head pin located in the middle of our school patio. For me it was an aha moment. Though I once believed investing in space was like investing in our future for knowledge and expansion, eye-opening exhibits like this reinforce what I now believe— the universe is just too big for exploration. Pretty disappointed in mankind that almost 50 years from landing on the moon that are crowning space-related achievements are getting benefits from man-made satellites ie gps , stationary telescopes ie Hubble , and moving telescopes probes— but I am excited about New Horizons approaching Pluto next year.

Things are too far so focus in subjects that affect us more like medicine. I did something a whole lot like this in quitethehike. And I like the info boxes. Hey Josh, That was one long trip you took us on. I knew there was a lot of nothing out there, but you really gave me some proper perspective on the true size of things. Thank you very much for this map.

Totally worth it!

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No words to describe the amazing job you made here. It really was, for me, a spiritual journey; not for religious reasons. You rock! So for instance, holding the right arrow leaving the sun, you arrive at Mercury after 3 minutes 12 seconds. Still, it would make you stop and realize the crazy scale. Very nice. Strikes me though a single 32 bit integer can count the km well past Uranus. So your 64 bit computer is pretty darned big on the inside too.

A single word can count well more integers than the km to Pluto we still love you! Suggest checking your Moon Pixel show, I am getting the last comment section over printed with another message. The earth being about light seconds from the sun, etc….

Planets and Astrology - Times of India

There should be a PixelMoon Fountation for the enhancement of the project, like: add right-click pop-up explanations about bodies encountered, 3d representations, meteors position remember the ISON crazyness some time ago? Love this work! Also liked your very quotable commentary on nothingness one of my favorite topics. It is like those occasional and sometimes humors road signs I often see when driving along the interstate.

Thank you for this! This is something I have wanted to see since long before personal computers even existed. It is beautiful and inspiring, yet at the same time the bleak emptiness scares the bejeebers out of me. I love that in the beginning, the notes were playful jabs about the amount nothingness but as I scrolled further out, the notes became progressively profound and border-line philosophical.

Especially the bit about being both pathetically insignificant and miraculously important. Excellent job. I look forward to more of your interactive work. I was specifically looking for a to-scale model of the solar system when I came here, and this is exactly what I was looking for—and absolutely fascinating.

Now I have more of an understanding why they do that! Light travels at an alarmingly slow rate on these scales. I really thought i had a grasp at the distance between our planets. This is the best of these I have seen. The scale on the bottom helps a lot. Or they put pretty little stars between the planets which is a major misconception! The humor helps a lot; always a great teaching tool. One complaint or should I say wish:… most of us in the U. Can you add miles? Great site, thanks again! Hey Larry! The triangle next to the Km indicator gives you a drop-down that lets you pick Miles.

Also whales, or the Great Wall of China for a measuring stick….. This is absolutely awesome. I use the middle button in the mouse to scroll until I reached Saturn. It took me quite a while. I am amazed. The distance. The space. And the gravitation that holds them together! This is great. Have you visited the Monte Generoso point in Switzerland? Such a great work, mate.

Thank you very much for the passion you show and the time you spent in the wonderful, interactive, mind-blowing page. And this is a single dimension. Well, poor Sam Sun has a bad case of solar wind. Strange basis for a story, indeed. Macdonald has come up with a unique way to introduce the solar system to young children. The illustrations are bold and bright, enticing for any young reader. I think Sam Sun is so much fun and anyone with a good sense of humor will agree.

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