In the past I’ve shared a handful of infographics and videos designed to help students understand the size of the universe and the scale of objects within it. How Big Is Space? is another good infographic to add to that list.
How Big Is Space? is an animated infographic produced by the BBC. As you scroll through the infographic a little rocket moves with you. The rocket passes objects as you scroll. You’ll scroll past commercial airplane altitude and the altitude of the highest sky dive. Then you’ll leave Earth’s atmosphere as start to scroll past satellites, the moon, and planets. The infographic ends with a fun fact; It would take you about 23 million years of continuous scrolling on this scale to get the farthest regions of the observable universe.
Applications for Education
As students move through this infographic they might feel like they have been scrolling for a long time. I certainly felt that way as I scrolled through it. After all that scrolling the fact at the end about how long it would take to travel to the farthest regions of the universe really drives home the point about the size of the observable universe.