Saturday, 10 February 2007

Worlds Largest Solar System Model is WRONG.

(Digg This, if you want!)
As you may know (and this is my first Blogger post, so people who aren't interested in FreePBX probably won't) I'm on my way to Melbourne, Victoria, from Gladstone, Queensland. On my way down the Newell Highway (which runs 'very' inland, north/south), there's this new thing I noticed called the 'Solar System Drive'. They're making a Scale Model of the solar system, 1/38,000,000th of the size of the real one. This is pretty cool. I missed the first one I saw, Neptune, because I didn't actually realise what it was until I was a good 2 or 3 km down the road, and stopping, turning around, coming back, etc would have been too much like hard work, and waste too much time. However, I was sure that I was going to catch the rest of them, and I was hoping it was going to be Uranus, otherwise I'd missed out on a whole pile. And it was!

However, they've stuffed up. They have TWO uranuses! I don't know how this ever could have possibly happened. Everyone involved would have been aware that they're making a model of the solar system, and the solar system only has ONE Uranus. But there's two. You'd think that someone, somewhere along the manufacturing process, would have gone 'Uh. Why are we making another Uranus?'.. but obviously they didn't.

I took some quick cameraphone shots, and uploaded them to http://picasaweb.google.com/xrobau/TripToMelbourne - I haven't put the GPS co-ordinates in, as I stupidly forgot to write them down. I will, however, ensure that I get a photo of Neptune (and, if I can find it, pluto) on the way back. You can see that the two Uranus's are different because the background is totally different. One (the first one, with the bush behind it), is on the eastern side of the road, backing onto reasonably virgin bush. The other has on the Western side of the road, on a corner -- you can see the road heading off on the left of the photo. I feel amazingly foolish that I didn't realise that they were the same when I took the photos, but I'll make sure I take some more 'surrounding' shots, to ensure that there's no claims of photoshopping, on the way back.

It looks like the rest haven't been built. I had my eyes open on the way past Coonabarabran, but I didn't seen them, and if you look at the website that's referenced on the boards, www.solarsystemdrive.com, you'll see that it's 'coming soon'.

I must say, I think this is a great idea, and I've been thinking about doing something like this, unofficially, along the bruce highway, or some other highly travelled road. The issue is that the sun is SO HUGE, that if, for example, the model of the sun was the size of an average beach ball, the size of pluto would be smaller then a grain of sand. Hard to do it accurately, that way 8-\ However, if this the scale of this is right, I get the feeling that the 'Sun' will be roughly the size of the observatory that's mentioned on the signs.

I'm currenly posting from the Fig Tree Motel, Narranderra. They're the only place that have free wifi - in fact, the only place in town that has wifi at all - and they only just got it. In fact, I donated a WRT54GL and a cheap 5-port switch to them to actually let them share their wireless. I think it's worth it, I travel through here 3 or 4 times a year, and it's always annoying having to time the trips so I'm heading through forbes (300km north) where they do have a pile of hotels with free wifi.

I'm 580km away from Leongatha, my destination for this week. Should be there around 2pm local time, hopefully.

--Rob

3 comments:

ManOMre said...

I see you made it to Vic... Welcome :)

This is rather cool, might be something to look out for if I ever drive north.

2 questions: did you try the bio-diesel and what phone takes photos that good?

Frank said...

I'm not sure, but I think that they may have put Uranus on there twice because at different times its orbit changes its order in the Solar system from 7 to 8 or something like that.

Darren Dwyer said...

Hey Rob , 2 trials bikes on the back of your trailer, maybe headed for the VIC championships ? Trials is a great sport , i remember being beaten on points by a 14 yr girl and a 65yr man on the same day!