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Monday, September 17, 2018

Three Sites That Help Students Understand the Size of the Universe

Living in a relatively rural area that doesn't have a lot of artificial light helps make it easy to spot constellations. Some nights when I take my dogs out before bedtime I look up at the constellations and I try to wrap my head around the size of the universe. Over the last few years I've shared some resources that can help viewers understand the scale of things in the universe, here they are.

How Far Is It To Mars? is a neat infographic that provides a pixel scale to show you how far it is from Earth to the Moon and the distance from Earth to Mars. The infographic is a motion infographic so you have to click on it to make it move. The distances are represented by pixels. After you get to the moon on the infographic click it again then sit back and watch as it takes a while to scroll to Mars.

3D Solar System Web is a neat resource available through the Chrome web store. 3D Solar System Web features a narrated tour of the solar system beginning at the sun and working out through all of the planets. The tour explains the classifications of each planet, how long it takes each planet to orbit the sun, and each planet's unique features.

Magnifying the Universe is an interactive infographic that allows you to see the size of atoms, animals, buildings, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies in relation to other objects in the universe.

Bonus Video:
The Known Universe is a six minute video tour of the known universe that starts with Earth's biggest mountains in the Himalaya and zooms out from there.