Yvonne Carts-Powell

Billions and Billions as Dr. Sagan Used to Say

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2010 at 10:00 am



Do kids these days still watch “Cosmos”?

While looking for an illustration for the last post, I ran across two excellent examples of size scales. Awesome!

  • This Youtube video from the American Museum of Natural History starts on Earth and heads out of the atmosphere, solar system, galaxy, and eventually, out of everything. The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.
    I suggest watching it on full screen.
  • Meanwhile, a flash app by fotoshop that goes teeny tiny as well as humongous gives you some control to explore different scales. It heads down past the micro- and nanometer scales, down past the size of nuclei and electrons, to the theorized quantum-foam and strings that exist on the scale of Planck’s length.
    (Press “Play” to get past the ad.)

The image, by the way, is the Crab Nebula, taken from the Hubble Space Telescope. Isn’t that beautiful?

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