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To Scale: The Solar System, Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh/Vimeo

Watch: Friends Build 11 Km Scale Model of The Solar System in Nevada Desert

18 SEPTEMBER 2015

We know what you’re thinking. “Seven minutes! I don’t have 7 minutes to watch some video of people playing around in the sand! See ya!” But wait, don’t go anywhere, because now that you’re here you need to watch this jaw-dropping and even quite moving short film.

 

The work of film-making pals, Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, To Scale: The Solar System is a mind-boggling labour of love, and one which is pretty much guaranteed to give you an all-new perspective on just how big the Solar System really is (as well as how puny and isolated we are on planet Earth in the grand scheme of things).

Pointing out how traditional visual depictions of the Solar System get the sense of scale totally wrong, Overstreet and Gorosh are determined to set the record straight, making their own scale model of what the Solar System actually looks like in the middle of a dry lakebed in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

The only thing is, there’s a pretty good reason why all those conventional diagrams typically distort the proportions of the planets. As the video makes clear, if Earth is represented by a small glass marble, you need a massive 11-km stretch of nothingness to fit in everything else. Hence the vast, stunningly bleak setting for the film (fun fact: it’s also where Burning Man is held).

There are so many amazing moments in this. Overstreet and Gorosh driving huge distances to place their planets. Seeing the Sun rise alongside its perfectly proportional model mock-up. And a closing montage of real-life astronauts talking about how affecting the vastness of space is when you’re actually surrounded by it.

We won’t go on any further – the video is the star here.