The Scale of the Universe – a fun, educational animation

An interactive Flash animation titled “Scale Of The Universe 2“, covering everything in the universe from the fabric of space-time to the estimated size of the universe, was posted earlier this year, and it is awesome. A month or so later, it went viral, but why…so popular?

First, the actual scale of the universe is mind blowing as it spans 62 orders of magnitude (that’s multiplying 62 10′s together).

Second, the animation is very well produced and packed with information.

Third, it was created by a 14-year-old, Cary Huang, and his twin brother, Michael, who worked on it for a year and a half as a fun project…

via The Singularity Hub

 

It’s true, it is really fun to play with, especially with all the weird objects they use for comparisons. I snapped a few screenshots below to show you some of them.

The first one is where the animation starts and the second is after scrolling out a bit. In both, you can see the size of a human in comparison to many objects (in the second one, there is a tiny human in the center).

In the last screenshot, you can see how California, Texas, and Italy are about the size of many moons and Pluto!

The Scale of the Universe 2

Energy 101: Wind turbines, how those slow moving blades create electricity

“The same wind that used to pump water for cattle is now turning giant wind turbines to power cities and homes.”

“The blades only turn about 18 RPM, not nearly fast enough to create electricity, so the rotor shaft spins a series of gears that increase the rotation up to 1800 RPM. At that speed the generator can produce a lot of electricity.”

Photo – the most volcanic body in our solar system – Jupiter’s moon Io

How big is Jupiter’s moon Io?

The most volcanic body in the Solar System, Io (usually pronounced “EYE-oh”) is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earth’s Moon.

Gliding past Jupiter at the turn of the millennium, the Cassini spacecraft captured this awe inspiring view of active Io with the largest gas giant as a backdrop, offering a stunning demonstration of the ruling planet’s relative size.

Io hurtles around its orbit once every 42 hours at a distance of 420,000 kilometers or so from the center of Jupiter. That puts Io nearly 350,000 kilometers above Jupiter’s cloud tops, roughly equivalent to the distance between Earth and Moon.

The Cassini spacecraft itself was about 10 million kilometers from Jupiter when recording the image data.

via NASA