Despite all the work that scientists are putting into space exploration and research, and all that we've achieved and learned about our solar system, the general public's true understanding of all this is lacking, mostly due to how this information is communicated. It's hard for most people without backgrounds in science to really comprehend what it means when we send a probe past Jupiter, or how far away Eris really is. It's simply difficult to truly grasp the magnitude of our solar system and all it's celestial inhabitants, and the physical dimensions are so vast that rendering it visually has always been difficult to do accurately, leading to a lot of misunderstanding. Thus, OMG SPACE was created: series of various visuals that attempt to solve this problem as part of a graphic design thesis project.
This project is only possible with the infinite scale of the web. To do this in print, one would have to sacrifice either distance or size in order to make it a feasible print job, which is why many textbooks unfortunately fail to illustrate the scale of the solar system accurately. All the planets on this website are to scale, including the sun and dwarf planets. The distances between each object and the sun are also to scale, and both the planets and relative distances are to scale with each other. Everything is calculated at a ratio of 1:647 to make easier numbers to work with and give me reasonable pixels sizes for this website. So if the Sun is 1,391,000 kilometers in diameter, then 1,391,000 divided by 647 equals 2149.92, and if I convert kilometeres to pixels where one kilometer is one pixel, my image of the sun is 2149 pixels squared. The same works for the distances: if Mercury is 57,909,050km from the Sun, with the ratio of 1:647, the distance is boiled down to 89503.94, so Mercury is place 89,503 pixels from where the Sun is placed on the screen.
OMG SPACE is the thesis project of Margot Trudell, a q graduate of the graphic design program at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada (2011). This website aims to illustrate the scale and the grandeur of our solar system, as well as communicate through the use of infographics our work in the exploration of our solar system with various spacecraft. This website was created in 2011. All data regarding planets, space imagery, missions etc is only up to date as far as early 2011. Minor updates to design and development were made in 2015. Since launch in 2011, this project has been featured online in Fast Co. Design, Wired, Applied Arts and PC Gamer, in print in Arcade Magazine and Depict Magazine, and was published in Understanding the World (Taschen ) in 2014.
The largest image (the Sun) is over 2000 pixels squared and the smallest image (Makemake) is only 1 pixel squared; this page is over 19 million pixels long. Load times may vary.
Infographic prints are available at Society6.