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A Sense of Scal3 - A Sense of Scale You probably already...

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A Sense of Scale You probably already know that the universe is big but most people do not realize how B I G it really is. Many astronomy classes start off with a tour of the universe based on the excellent short film called Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames (link appears in a new window). The film starts with a man and woman in a city park and then expands the field of view by ten times every ten seconds until it reaches the bounds of the observable universe. After zooming back to the man and woman in the park, the field of view is reduced by ten times every ten seconds until one proton in a carbon atom in the man's hand fills the screen. The film is longer than one might first expect because of all of those powers of ten that must be counted to include all of the things astronomy covers. A Scaled Model of the Solar System Another way to give you a sense of the distances between things is to use a proportional (``scaled'') model. In such a model, everything is reduced by the same amount, so all parts of the
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