Well, numbers for sizes do a fairly good job for me. If someone says "Well, that's 1 million kilometres away" I think about the circumference of the earth (40'000km) or the distance to the moon (~380'000km), and this gives me a rough perception of the distance to something. Don't use heights or radius of things, humans aren't good at estimating heights. But we are really good at estimating distances. So, use that instead. Like, a football (or soccer for the Americans) field. Something you can see in front of your inner eye.RedDwarfMining wrote: Well that's why I'd like a Graphical representation of scale...Numbers simply don't do the job. Don't care about 'seeing' the actual Radii numbers....Don't want to sit there and try to figure out how that number compares to another.
Heh. I think it's a good example here for the false perception of astronomical scale that some people have:
Yesterday we were discussing a pilot who wanted to set a new height record with a solar powered plane. My Vater first said, that he wanted to reach an altitude of 25'000km, but corrected himself quickly to 25'000m, "because 25'000km is always half the way to the moon". I then told him, that 25'000km is about 15'000km past the outmost layer of our atmosphere and is the orbit height of some half-geosynchronous satellites that have an orbit time of about 12 hours. 40'000km is about the height of the geosynchronous and geostationary satellites. The moon is about 10 times further away from earth, at a distance of about 380'000km.
He looked at me with a really reflective look, and after a few seconds of processing the information I just gave him, he sighed, leant back and said "Well, space is vaster than I thought..."