Wildlife & Wild Places

Magnifying the Universe [Infographic]

Ever seen that Simpsons intro when the “camera” zooms out from Springfield, all the way past the Earth, the Solar System, Milky Way, and beyond, only to depict the Universe as a tiny marble in yet another dimension?

This beautifully produced infographic from Number Sleuth lets you have that experience from the comfort of your own computer. It’s also a fascinating exercise in perspective, stretching the mind to contemplate scale.

The natural history Museum in New York has a human-scale exhibit that accomplishes the same task.

According to the infographic’s creators, it “illustrates the scale of over 100 items within the observable universe ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. Numerous hot points along the zoom slider allow for direct access to planets, animals, the hydrogen atom and more. As you scroll, a handy dial spins to show you your present magnification level.”

Enjoy! Just don’t get dizzy:

Copyright 2012. Magnifying the Universe by Number Sleuth.

  • Stormy

    This is awesome… but I can’t help but notice how the people in the eiffal tower image are bigger than ‘adam and eve’, which casts doubt on the accuracy of the scaling.

    I also question the wisdom of using ‘adam and eve’ instead of human.

  • neutralmilk

    keep in mind the 2 people in the eifel tower photo seem to be in front of it by a fair distance hence making them look taller as they’re closer then what the eifel tower is meant to be

  • […] Magnifying the Universe [Infographic]National GeographicAccording to the infographic's creators, it “illustrates the scale of over 100 items within the observable universe ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. Numerous hot points along the zoom slider allow for direct … […]

  • […] somehow it made it’s way to Alltop and Digg and I think most inspiring thus far, it was in National Geographic’s blog. As a long time science lover, it’s truly an honor to have my work anywhere on the pages of […]

  • Juli Kerry

    Great stuff. A few blips but who cares! A lot of work went into this so a huge round of applause to the brains behind the whole effort. Glad I found this. Have already passed it on many times .

  • Michael C.

    You think this one is good? Try this: http://htwins.net/scale2/

    Helium Atoms? Please. This one goes down to the Quantum Foam, has interactive facts (click on any object to see more about it), and is much smoother than Nat Geo’s.

    Tell me what you think!

  • Andrew

    When I came up to Rigel I thought ‘Stars can’t get much bigger than that’ than I scroll forward and find several other much bigger stars.

    What staggers me most is the sizes of some of the Virus’. There’s basically nothing to them except for the bare essentials.

  • Scott Feyhl

    I always think about things people say that relate significance to scale, i.e. “How can we think we matter when compared to the universe?” It occurs to me that the significance to a “thing” may be irrelevant when contemplating scale.

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