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.
|Zoomable Poster on 50 Years of Space Exploration|
|Zeppelins and Cloud Cities to Colonize Venus|
|“We could set up a small lunar base for $10 billion or less, and we could do it by 2022.”|
|Escape the Earth|
|Water Vapour Found in Atmosphere of Planet in Another Solar System|
|Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988|
|Termite-Inspired Autonomous Robotic Construction Crew|
|The Unknown Reader|
|Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China|
|James Charles' Pop Culture Dollars|
|"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."|
|The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium|
|“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”|
|"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."|
|"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."|
|“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”|