The Scale of the Universe

Are you feeling…small? Wanna feel smaller? Go here and play around with the relative sizes of things. Everything from a string (of the atomic variety) to various nebulae and clusters are shown in a size-relative setting. In other words, you move the scroll bar and realize just how tiny we are.

Scale of the Universe 2 is copyright 2012 by Cary and Michael Huang.

  • The Professor

    Nice find, engineered! That is just amazingly well done. I've seen a couple of other animation-type things like that, but this is far and away the best.
    It gives you a really weird feeling to understand just how small "small" is, and how big "big" is. I got dizzy, too.

  • OA5599

    Clearly inspired by Powers of Ten, but now it is interactive.

    [youtube 38ti9BJiyvs&feature=related youtube]

  • GlassOnion9

    I found that thing about a week ago and everyone in my lab spent a good hour screwing around with it.

    • The Professor

      You're supposed to submit those things to our tip line, young man. Or are you too busy trying to organize a union, eh? Ingrates! Just how am I supposed to ruthlessly monopolize someone for years if I have to start obeying some damned rules now? Eh? Tell me! Bah! Next it will probably be the damned zombies wanting healthcare…

      • tonyola

        I do approve of state-funded contraceptives for zombies. We don't want those creepy brain-eating bastards reproducing, do we?

        • The Professor

          That's an excellent point, at least for those whose naughty bits haven't fallen off yet.

  • skitter

    I started by zooming in, since there was a longer distance to travel. The enormity of the math, when I finally found the tiniest things that were a billion times smaller than an electron, was a little shocking. Zooming back out, everything seemed to build nicely: quarks, atoms, cells, the always weird light waves, people, human projects larger than small moons, stars, bigger stars, bigger stars, solar systems build up to galaxies, galaxies build up to units, units build up to the universe. All very linear, and seemingly comprehensible; a matryoshka universe. Suddenly, on the second to last slide, they put it in context with the Hubble deep field.

    Then I needed to lie down.

    • The Professor

      I know what you mean. That was a shocker for me, too.

  • craigsu

    It's even more intriguing when listening to Some Chords on the 4×4=12 album by Deadmau5.