Feb 06 2015

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Excellent illustration of how big our Solar System is

My great friend Darrell sent me this video:

In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.
Design & Animation: Alphonse Swinehart / aswinehart.com
Music: Steve Reich “Music for 18 Musicians”
Performed by: Eighth Blackbird / eighthblackbird.org

I don’t normally post videos that are more than a few minutes long, but I’m making an exception here. This is a 43 minute video, which is how long it takes for a photon of light to go from the surface of the Sun to beyond Jupiter’s orbit. Very interesting perspective — I had it open on my second video screen to watch it so I could keep doing work.

Darrell is such a good friend, I wish there were two of him (and that he had a brother named Larry):

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/06/great-illustration-of-how-big-our-solar-system-is/

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