Bill Nye Demonstrates Distance Between Planets

In the following video, Bill Nye demonstrates a scale model of the solar system by riding his bike across a barren plain.

Richard Dawkins wrote this about our planetary system:

Find a large open space, and take a soccer ball to represent the sun. Put the ball down and walk ten paces in a straight line, stick a pin in the ground. The head of the pin stands for the planet Mercury. Take another nine paces beyond Mercury and put down a peppercorn to represent Venus.

Seven paces on, drop another peppercorn for Earth. One inch from Earth, another pin head represents the moon, the furthest place, lets remember, that we have so far reached.

Fourteen more paces to little Mars and ninety five paces to giant Jupiter, a ping pong ball. One hundred and twelve paces further, Saturn is a marble.

No time to deal with the outer planets, except to say the distances are much larger. But how far would you have to walk to reach the nearest star, Proxima Centauri? Pick up another football to represent it and set off on a walk for four thousand two hundred miles.

As for the nearest other galaxy, Andromeda, don’t even think about it.

[Via Reddit]





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4 Responses to Bill Nye Demonstrates Distance Between Planets

  1. I feel as If stating the distance between the planets is horribly innacurate. The distance is always changing, because the planets are always moving. It would be more accurate to state the difference between the orbits, and even then that may be different depending on where on the orbit you measure, unless they're all orbiting the exact same ellipse but different sizes, which is highly unlikely. All this aside, I love Bill Nye, and this video was highly enlightening.

  2. I feel as If stating the distance between the planets is horribly innacurate. The distance is always changing, because the planets are always moving. It would be more accurate to state the difference between the orbits, and even then that may be different depending on where on the orbit you measure, unless they're all orbiting the exact same ellipse but different sizes, which is highly unlikely. All this aside, I love Bill Nye, and this video was highly enlightening.