Space is big, really, really big. You may think it’s a long way down to the … and so on. If you’ve got a sideways scrolling mouse, or you just want a sense of perspective then you better head over to The Solar System Perspective. It’s a to-scale map of the planets (including Pluto) including the spaces in between. If you were to print it at 72 dpi, the map would stretch for over 800 metres, yes it’s really that big. The story behind it is here and it’s well worth a look. [Via Information Aesthetics]
The solar system is basically empty. Oh, don’t get me wrong: there are several objects in it which are many thousands of miles across. You’re standing on one. But the distances between them are so staggering as to make even the sun insignificantly tiny by comparison. Taking the solar system as a whole, we’re talking about invisible specks of dust hovering several hundred feet away from the head of a match. It’s difficult to imagine.