Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Imagine the scope of celestial events

Sometimes science gives you an understanding of things that help you to appreciate the context of events that you observe.  In this case, understanding what is happening during an eclipse gives an appreciation of the massive cloud of darkness that passed over the sky in Australia last month.  The video above clearly shows the shadow moving across the sky as the celestial objects do their dance.  We've seen our share of astronomically significant events here at Digital Diner this year, but I really like how this video captures this event on a large scale.  You can almost feel the massiveness of the objects involved in this dramatic deflection of photons occurring at great distances.  We're talking about planets and stars here...

These sorts of events help to put things in perspective and make you realize just how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of the universe.  The video below uses animation and Carl Sagan's words to put things in context.

So, just remember, next time that you look up into the night sky, Steve Jobs, Hitler and the Beatles are all completely unknown just one solar system over.  If you want to do something really important... if you want to think really big... try to impress the universe.  Go ahead, cast a shadow onto another planet!