Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Solar Beat

File this post under my constant quest to rise above the constraints of my perception of time and space.  The people at made this awesome little animation thing of the eight "classical planets" plus the "pluton" (formerly known as a planet) pluto and the "dwarf planet" (formerly known as an asteroid) ceres orbiting around the sun.  You can speed them up and slow them down and listen to their 10 unique tones.  I seriously spaced out for 10 solid minutes while watching this thing, I encourage you to do the same.

via via Krulwich wonders
Isn't it cool how the innermost planets move soooooooo much faster than the outermost planets?  Makes me think of how a penny circles faster and faster around the central axis of one of those spiral wishing wells as it gets closer to the center.  Conceptually identical.

Kids rule.

Finally, when I lived in Cleveland and I really got on a roll at parties I would love to talk about Olber's Paradox, which is the question of why the night sky is dark if you assume the universe is infinite and has been around forever.  I didn't understand what I was talking about then, and still find it pretty hard to wrap my mind around, but this video is awesome: