The Amazing “Scale of the Universe 2” interactive Graphic.

Scale of the Universe 2.

Scale of the Uni­verse 2.

Dara O’Briain’s Sci­ence Club had its sec­ond series on BBC2 over the sum­mer. Impres­sive­ly, he man­aged to keep it gen­uine­ly infor­ma­tive and fun with­out ever becom­ing patronizing.

Like a num­ber of his fel­low BBC2 and 4 pre­sen­ters, most notably Bri­an Cox and Jim Al-Khalili, he refus­es to dilute any of the sci­ence, whilst insist­ing on mak­ing it all as acces­si­ble as pos­si­ble. And he’s ably assist­ed by fel­low pre­sen­ters Mark Miodown­ik, whose recent book Stuff Mat­ters got rave reviews, includ­ing this one from The Guardian.

The BBC2 Science Club team.

The BBC2 Sci­ence Club team.

And by Helen Czer­s­ki, who gives the impres­sion that she knows that the top­ic she is cov­er­ing is fas­ci­nat­ing, but is resigned to the real­i­ty that none of us will be able to fol­low what she has to tell us about it. Which, need­less to say, makes what she has to say all the more appealing.

One of the side­bar top­ics that O’Briain cov­ered dur­ing the sum­mer was an amaz­ing info graph­ic that went qui­et­ly viral about a year ago. The rea­sons that it gen­er­at­ed so much inter­est were twofold.

First, it real­ly is a bril­liant graph­ic. You scroll in and out, from the small­est things in the uni­verse at the length of the Planck Con­stant at 10 to the minus 35 of a meter, to galax­ies, neb­u­la and the entire observ­able uni­verse. And it’s all per­fect­ly to scale.

Jim Al-Khalili's "Science And Islam".

Jim Al-Khalil­i’s “Sci­ence And Islam”.

Pre­dictably, I (and I should imag­ine many oth­ers beside) spent a num­ber of hours look­ing things up, con­vinced that they’d made a mis­take. But no, the Earth real­ly is that close in size to Venus, like­wise Nep­tune to Uranus. Have a look at the Scale of the Uni­verse 2 here. It’s addictive.

Although of course Apple won’t let you use Flash, so you won’t be able to fool around with it if you’re using an iPhone or Pad. But you can see how the whole thing works on them here.

Sec­ond, even more remark­ably, the whole thing was put togeth­er by Cary Huang,  a 14 year old school boy from – where else – Cal­i­for­nia, togeth­er with his twin broth­er Michael. For Fun. It wasn’t even a school project. All it took was the Inter­net and a pair of infi­nite­ly curi­ous minds. There’s an excel­lent overview and inter­view with them by David J. Hill on the Sin­gu­lar­i­ty Hub here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below, and I shall keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best and Worst in Film, Tele­vi­sion and Music!