My Sister
S & M

Yiheng's Photos
Shuquan's Photos
Pei Yee's Photos
Yun Qin's Photos



February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
November 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009


Saturday, November 08, 2008
The Solar System -vww

I came across this picture on Wikipedia a while ago and thought it gave a good idea of the scale of distances in the vicinity of the Sun. The unit of measurement is AU (Astronomical Unit), which is the distance between the Earth and the Sun (that's why Earth is at 1AU).

As seen in the diagram, interstellar distances are mind-bogglingly immense (notice the exponential scale). Even 1AU is far by human standards. Light takes more than 8 minutes to travel 1AU; it takes light only 1.3 seconds to reach the Moon.

Most people are probably not so familiar with the Heliosphere. It is the layer of the Sun sustained by the pressure of the solar wind. The Heliosphere deflects a large portion of dangerous galactic cosmic radiation, quite similar to how the Earth's magnetosphere protects us from the powerful solar winds. The Heliosphere has been in the spotlight lately due to new data that shows it has been shrinking. In addition, there is the recently launched IBEX spacecraft that will be sent beyond Earth's magnetosphere to take measurements of the Heliosphere among other tasks.

p.s. Wikipedia has a great diagram for explaining Termination Shock that involves a tap and a basin.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
3:32 PM


Post a Comment



Previous Posts

Jupiter, Venus, Moon conjunction coming up -vwv

Oh! It's about carrots! -vvx

Shows! -vvz

Action and the Potential for Action -vvw

CERN Rap -vvx

Chinese Classics in the Park (歌乐满园林) -vvz

LHC is online -vwv

Turandot -vvz

More stuff on YouTube -vvx

DSTA Annual Function 2008 -vvv

Current Read


Last Three Books


The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology
Arthur Cotterell, Rachel Storm

Michael Ende

Those Before


Paycheck: And Other Classic Stories By
Philip K. Dick

Mirror Mirror: A Novel
Gregory Maguire

American Gods
Neil Gaiman

Maya 5 Fundamentals
Garry Lewis, Jim Lammers

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling