[Via Bad Astronomy]
A while back I posted a link to a nifty interactive graphic that let’s you zoom down from human scales to that of the atom. In that post, I said I wish someone would make one that goes out to the size of the Universe, too.
My wish has been answered. NewGrounds is a Flash animation portal, and a user by the handle of Fotoshop has created a wondrous and lovely interactive tool to show you the relative sizes of things in the Universe, from the largest galaxies down to the quantum foam. I don’t know what else to say about it except This. Freaking. Rocks.
When I was in High School, we has little models of the solar system to help us visualize what it looked like. Or we would see beat up old films. like this one made by Frank Capra. (These were wonderful movies, with Hemo the Magnificent being the one that had the greatest impact on me.)
Now we can directly interact with a representation that actually intuitively gives us a feel for the sizes of things. Maybe not an exact representation but it sure is a great learning tool for us visual learners.
Oh, and while I was searching those old Capra educational movies , I noticed they are out on DVD – Hemo is paired with The Unchained Goddess which gave us this educational view of global warming 50 years before Gore. I guess those climate science conspirators were active 50 years ago.
We have nice visual devices to show us the size of things but where are the scientific educators like Dr. Frank Baxter, who was not a scientist at all, but was used to effectively to make so many of us want to be scientists.