Join Donate

Emily LakdawallaFebruary 16, 2012

The Scale of the Universe, by Cary and Michael Huang

Although this isn't a new idea, it's the most interactively satisfying version I've ever seen, and the fact that it was created by a 14-year-old with the help of his twin brother makes it that much awesomer. It's a basic "powers of ten" visualization starting at human scale from which you can scrub downward smaller than quarks or upward to the scale of the entire universe. All the items in it are clickable for more information. But for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, my favorite aspect of it is the little twinkling animations it includes, from sunlight reflecting off the water below the Hoover Dam to Bohr-ish electrons circling a Mickey Mouse water molecule. Also, it's funny that Dysnomia (Eris' moon) and West Virginia are comparably sized. I don't know why I find that funny; I just do. I've embedded it here but to truly appreciate it you ought to go to Cary and Michael Huang's website and see it full-size. (It is a Flash animation which means it will not work on your iOS devices, sadly.)

This item via my college classmate Kathy Surpless on Facebook.

Read more: scale comparisons, fun, podcasts and videos, stars and galaxies

You are here:
Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla
Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

Comments & Sharing
MER
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process. Funding is crucial.

Donate