I’m not often a huge fan of computer-based demonstrations: if you’re going to show the reality of something, show it for real. However, when the thing you’re trying to show is abstract – like, for example, the immense scale of the solar system – then screen-based demos can make a lot of sense.
Take this fabulous side-scrolling solar system diagram, for example. It starts from the premise of the moon being 1 pixel high, and scales the rest of the solar system accordingly. Be warned: there’s a lot of scrolling involved.
A lot of scrolling.
The journey’s kept amusing by odd little snippets spaced between the planets in neptune-sized text, and the minimal design is particularly lovely. Hey, if you’re going to use a screen-based demo, use a good one.
(via everyone, but particularly Metafilter, where the comments thread also points to the impressive-looking Universe Sandbox. “Collide galaxies for fun.”)