See a Scale Model of the Solar System in the Nevada Desert

Caitlin Schneider

“I have the world in my pocket somewhere.”

Wylie Overstreet was speaking somewhat literally when he uttered that phrase during a 36 hour trip to the middle of nowhere in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. He and fellow filmmaker Alex Gorosh ventured to an expansive dry lake bed in order to build a to-scale model of the solar system, filmed all the while to beautiful effect.

The team started with a blue marble to represent Earth (inspired perhaps by Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, who’s quoted at the beginning), then measured the distances and traced the orbits of the planets, with a sun measuring a meter-and-a-half in diameter at the center of it all.

They needed seven full miles of empty space to accurately model the solar system. After putting the planets in place, they used lights to trace the orbits in order to show just how expansive it really is. The resulting time lapse—filmed from the top of a nearby mountain—is a gorgeous and awe-inspiring view of our place in the universe, all from right here on Earth.

To view “To Scale: The Solar System” click here, or check out the video above.

[h/t The Kids Should See This]