Monday, April 16, 2007

It's All Relative

Remember those models of our solar system you'd see in grade school?
There'd be the sun, along with the nine planets whirling around close by. Those diagrams always bugged me because they really don't show how far away each planet really is from the sun.
So, a long time ago, I did the math. Ratios and all that stuff.
Ready class?
If the sun were the size of a large beach ball (one meter in diameter), and you placed it at the end of a football field, I would never see it because I hate football.
Ha ha ha.
Okay, seriously. . .
If the sun were the size of a large beach ball (one meter in diameter), and you placed it at the end of a football field, the earth would be the size of a pea in the opposite end zone.
For those of you who don't know, the "end zone" is where the good-looking quarterbacks like Peyton Manning try to throw the ball so that their teammates can catch it and then dance around really funny. They get paid millions of dollars to accomplish that.
We're on a pea-sized planet.
Neptune, the farthest planet, would be the size of a golf ball, four-and-a-half miles away.
OOOoooo. Get the picture?
Now then, stars are really, really far away. The closest star, Alpha Proxima, would be three times the size of the beach ball, but it would be 16,500 miles away from the end of the football field.
And that's about as close as I'll ever get to a football game.
On a lighter note, I did my taxes today. I'll be getting a five cent refund from the State of Illinois. . . .
. . . Let the mayhem ensue.

2 Comments:

At 2:23 PM , Blogger Red7Eric said...

A five-cent refund; how the hell did you manage that?

 
At 1:15 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I won't tell you how much we got. But maybe next year The Spouse should do your taxes.

 

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