The Sun and Earth model

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Andy's picture

Most of us may know that the distance between the Sun and the Earth is one AU (Astronomical Unit: 150,000,000 km). However, due to the various online solar system images, many of us are not clear about how the Earth and Sun look like in space in the actaul scale. The VRMath2 Editor is a 3D modelling application, and is capable of modelling our solar system. Therefore, I did an experiment in modelling the Earth and Sun using actual parameters. The results are not as good as I expected, but they do make me appreciate the awe of the solar system, and the difficulties in modelling and comprehending the science of our solar system.

Here is the static model of Sun and Earth in actual (close) distance. Well, the Sun and the Earth do move (spin) a bit in a scale of 1 second is to represent 1 hour. You can drag carefully in the 3D virtual space to see if you can find the Sun. However, you may lose the Earth easily because the navigational speed is proportional to the size of the world, which means you will navigate a big distance even with a tiny scroll of mouse wheel. If that happens, you can always press "R" key or use the navigation tool to return.

The coding of this virtual world is not big at all. See below:

In doing this experiment, I learnt that while we may want our students/children to see what it is actually looked like in the space, but because of the vast distance in space, it is difficult to show even in the capable computers these days. What would young children perceive and construct such knowledge about our solar system with this 3D modelling can be further researched.

Please leave a comment below if any. Below are files you can collect and try.

Filessun_earth.x3d  sun_earth.logo

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