Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What a Body Count -- an ultimate lineup

All Known Bodies in the Solar System Larger Than 200 Miles in Diameter -- to scale lined up in a row.

Perhaps you have to be a science or astronomy buff -- or into science fiction -- but I found the content of this web page incredible. It is not so much that there is a lot of new information nor that any great high tech or fancy web tricks are being used. It is merely that it is interestingly laid out and in a way that even a layman can appreciate -- I think.

The page is: KOKOGIAK -- All (known) Bodies in the Solar System Larger than 200 Miles in Diameter. It was posted March 29, 2007 and so a little bit out of date, but not so much as it can't be enjoyed and appreciated.

Of course this is only a thumbnail of the original. The original is 1000 pixels high or tall enough that the Earth -- that first blue marble to the left -- should be approximately screen height on most monitors. To make it reasonable in size the creator -- and I believe it is the Website Developer, Alan Taylor, decided to scale things to the height of the Earth. He is representing the larger planets by showing a section of their "limb" -- an arc of the edge of their disk -- to give an impression of their relative size. Otherwise the smaller bodies would shrink to insignificance. His choice of 200 miles as being a cut-off is that it is the approximate size of Mimas (247 miles in diameter) and he is fond of this satellite of Saturn's.

I think he made a good choice. I think one can scroll horizontally across one of the three choices of views of the image. One has the metric and Imperial measurements for the planet's diameter along with the name, the next is the same image, but with only the metric measurement, the last has the image without any text labels. I have a bit larger scale image cropped here as a thumbnail to give a slightly better feel for things. (image to left -- image from KOKOGIAK) This is still much smaller than the actual image.

It does use actual images where possible. I think the only place where I might criticize is with regard to Venus and that the image he uses seems to be dilated horizontally somewhat even if you take into consideration the fact that part of its disk is in shadow like Titan's is. I do believe that the artist -- for I do believe it is artful -- tried for teh colours you might see with the naked eye, or some semblance of them.

If you are at all interested in the Solar System -- whether you agree with Pluto's current designation or not -- I recommend you go to this page and have a look at the presentation of this image. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

More information on KOKOGIAK can be found on their main page I suggest you have a look at the window below where the title "KOKOGIAK" is written and click on the menu items for "Who" "What" and "Where" to find out more about the site. I think I'll be having more of a look there.

~ Darrell


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