I’ve received a lot of interesting questions from people who have taken a look at If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel. Here I will try to quench your insatiable curiosity.
Are you some kind of expert astrophysicist who is qualified to answer questions about the scale of the universe?
Nope. I’m not even that good at math.
Where would the Voyager spacecraft be on the map?
After reaching Pluto, you’d need to scroll through about 1.6 more maps filled with emptiness before reaching Voyager 2 and then another half a map to reach Voyager 1. Pretty impressive distance for a couple of California bad boys shot out of the 70s. Visit the Jet Propulsion Lab website to really find out what they’re up to.
Why isn’t Titan on the map?
Except for the Titan-Centaur rockets (the kind that launched the aforementioned bad-ass spacecraft), I’ve determined that anything containing the word “titan” is doomed to mediocrity. The half-hearted Clash of the Titans (both the original and the remake), the forgettable Remember the Titans, Titan AE (the AE stands for animated ennui), and of course the disastrous Titanic. All were lacking some essential component that prevented them from being anything more than “not horrible.” At least that’s my rationale for omitting Saturn’s moon despite the fact that it’s actually larger than Callisto. (And also a section of code around Saturn had a bug in it so I took it out and never got around to fixing it.} Real astronomers will be happy to know that the map has now been updated to include Titan, despite its lackluster name.
If you included Pluto why didn’t you include insert name of favorite exoplanet here?
Do you ever hang a stocking out at Christmas for your cat, even though she’s not technically a human who celebrates Christmas? It’s like that.
If you combined the scrolling efforts of all the people who have scrolled through this map, how far would you get?
If all 3 million(!) visitors scrolled to Pluto (which they didn’t) and we combined all of their scrolling efforts in order to scroll through an inter-galactic mega-map drawn at the same scale, we wouldn’t even make it to the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, which is barely even a galaxy and is actually closer to us than the center of the Milky Way. If we really want to reach it, everyone will need to go back and scroll through the map 13 more times.
If everyone on Earth could somehow hold hands in a straight line across the map, how far would we reach?
7.125 billion people each with their arms outstretched 1.5 meters would get you about 10.7 million km, or roughly 1/5th of the distance between the Sun and Mercury. We tried Hands Across America, why not Hands Across the Solar System? Every participant gets a complimentary sun visor.
How big am I on the map?
1/46 millionth of a pixel. But you’re the most important 1/46th millionth of a pixel.
What kind of tools did you use for this project?
The folks at the Adobe CC blog asked me that same question. You can read what I told them in the lovely article they published a while back.
It says “You Are Here” under the Earth, but how do you know I’m on Earth?
The page is actually using an advanced geo-targeting algorithm to detect your location. By using the prefix “geo” it can tell you’re on Earth, because “geo” is Greek for “Earth.” Please don’t move to Ganymede or something, it’ll throw off the whole thing.
Can you make other maps where other things are only 1 pixel, like the whole solar system is 1 pixel or my whole life is one pixel?
How about If My Free Time Were 1 Pixel. Oh right. It already is.