Planets in our solar system are really far from each other. So far, in fact, that nobody really understands just how vast vast is.
Built in honor of Carl Sagan, the Cornell astronomer, author and science communicator, the Sagan Planet Walk offers lessons that reach far beyond astronomy. It's a case study in visualizing vastness.
Admit it. You have no real feeling for the size of the solar system. That's O.K. Nobody else does either. Even knowing the numbers doesn't help much. If I tell you the Earth is about 8,000 miles in diameter and 93,000,000 miles from the Sun, does that give you any sense of the distances involved? No, because the numbers are too big. Things that are so far removed from our daily experience -- like quarks, and dinosaurs, and Kim Kardashian -- are inherently hard to understand.
The designers of the Sagan Walk made the solar system accessible by shrinking it to a human scale. Each planet is displayed in its own monolith.
|"We're going to get out of ISS as quickly as we can."|
|"Warp drives could become a real technology within the lifetimes of today’s toddlers."|
|“We could set up a small lunar base for $10 billion or less, and we could do it by 2022.”|
|A Diamond the Size of Earth, Floating in Space|
|"We know that something strange is going on out there."|
|“What life is like on the front lines of the digital revolution.”|
|“Let the Chinese Communist Party rule forever and enslave us all?”|
|“It is full of hallucinations both wonderful and terrifying, a mental goulash of reality and fantasy.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“How to build a house.”|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Humans Need Not Apply|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|"Acting better than Star Trek deserves."|