scale solar systems
When I was ten years old we were told to come up with a project
to present to the class, some kind of physical model of
something we were interested in. Lots of people chose famous
buildings or volcanoes, but I choose to make a model of the
solar system, because I'd always loved space and the idea of
space travel. I decided, as I was obsessed with detail and
accuracy, to make my solar system to scale, unlike most, which
just squash all the planets up together. This sounded like a
good idea, until you realize just how not to scale most model
solar systems actually are. Mercury, Venus and Earth all fit
inside the kitchen I was making it in, but by the time I'd got
to Neptune I'd had to cross the road and a rather puzzled
neighbor found me standing in the middle of their prime rose
garden with a beach ball painted blue in my left hand.
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