This Scale Model of The Solar System is Truly Stellar

This Scale Model of The Solar System is Truly Stellar


solarsystem2 solarsystem1

To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo.

I'm in complete awe of the effort that Wylie, Alex and their team have put into this remarkable scale model of the solar system. Pointing out that most of the illustrations in our textbooks of the solar system are inaccurate the team set out to correct this with their ambitious project.

To plot out the position of each planet and have a location big enough for the planetary orbits to work at scale, the group of friends found a lakebed in Nevada that could accommodate the specific requirements of their model. The distance from the models Sun to Neptune's orbit is 5.6km. Wow.

Alex and Wylie have not only created a great scale model of our solar system but a handy educational reference for those studying space. Props to them for a great video as well. The cinematography, soundtrack, editing and the use of archival footage are brought together very nicely. I especially like the their treatment of the infographics.

There is a moment in the video where an astronaut reflects on being able to cover the Earth with his thumb.

"Everything that you have ever known, all behind your thumb."


Their next project has me excited as well:

To Scale: Deep Time

Our planet is nearly five billion years old, our universe nearly three times older. These astonishing aeons of time defy comprehension; our lifespans rarely see a century and our brains evolved to understand time only in this context. As Stephen Jay Gould once quipped, "An abstract, intellectual understanding of deep time comes easily enough--I know how many zeros to place after the 10 when I mean billions. Getting it into the gut is quite another matter."

But maybe there is a way to illustrate this immensity of time that allows us to glimpse its true scale. And if so, maybe we can finally see our place within it.


Alex Gorosh Wylie Overstreet

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