To Scale: Our Solar System

Sorting out what is truth from a lie is not always easy.

If you put in the words solar system in your search engine, you  will get more or less the same models and depictions of our solar system.  Are these depictions true? Are they a good representation of our solar system? Or is there a better way to make us grasp what our solar system looks like?

Filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, along with a few friends, set out to make a scale model of the solar system. Why? There are hundreds of models of our solar system. Why travel 965 km (600 miles) to Black Rock Desert in Nevada to create a video that show the orbits of the planets in our solar system?

The video is beautiful and awe-inspiring, and it highlights the importance of looking at things with new eyes. Most of the models and pictures that we see of our solar system are closer to  “lie” than “truth” and in the common models the planets should really be microscopic.

The video highlights the importance of always questioning a claim. The questioning helps to reveal if the claim or model is “closer to being either a ‘truth’ or a ‘lie’.” Greyscale thinking is a great approach to life and to science. We should not that see a claim or a model as either true or false, instead we should always question everything.

Being curious and striving towards enhancing our understanding is more important than proving that something is right or wrong. The model in the video is a great step forward and it is closer to the truth but it should nevertheless not be regarded as the “truth”. Someone might build a more accurate model in the future.

Moving away from “black and white” or “them and us” thinking helps us view different points of view. And it is also a great way to help us stay curious. Curiosity helps our mind to stay active, it helps us observe things, and it opens up our eyes and mind to new worlds and possibilities. Exciting!



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