To Scale: The Solar System
In the fall of 2014, I convinced four friends to travel to a dry lakebed in Nevada and help me build a full, three dimensional scale model of the solar system complete with planetary orbits--the only way to see what our place in the cosmos actually looks like.
To Scale: Deep Time
Our planet is nearly five billion years old, our universe nearly three times older. These astonishing aeons of time defy comprehension; our lifespans rarely see a century and our brains evolved to understand time only in this context. As Stephen Jay Gould once quipped, "An abstract, intellectual understanding of deep time comes easily enough--I know how many zeros to place after the 10 when I mean billions. Getting it into the gut is quite another matter."
But maybe there is a way to illustrate this immensity of time that allows us to glimpse its true scale. And if so, maybe we can finally see our place within it.