Thanks to a group of artists, the Nevada desert is now home to what they claim is the first true-to-scale model of the solar system "complete with planetary orbits."
that Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, the men behind the project, were inspired by a passage written by James Irwin, the fourth man to land on the moon.
"As we got farther and farther away, the Earth diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine . . . seeing this has to change a man," the Apollo 15 pilot once wrote.
Thus, using a common marble as their starting point, the men constructed a model seven miles wide.
"Every single picture of the solar system that we ever encounter is not to scale. If you put the orbits to scale on a piece of paper, the planets become microscopic, and you won't be able to see them," Overstreet explains in a video showing how the model was built.
"There is literally not an image that adequately shows you what it actually looks like from out there. The only way to see a scale model of the solar system is to build one."
Using a time-lapse shot from a mountain in the Black Rock desert, the men drove around each of the planet's orbits with a different color light, creating concentric, illuminated rings in the night. The effect is stunning, and also highly educational.
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