## Thursday, March 10, 2011

### Saturn Fly-Though with Real Photography

Nancy Atkinson at Universe Today posted this most excellent flyby of the Saturnian system, based on Cassini photographs ONLY in the article "Awe-Inspiring Flythrough of the Saturn System", the original of which and more details about its making can be seen and read by clicking here.

5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

OMG I want to go out there so much. Born 100 years too early, I suppose. In any event, that's quite the tease, and I'm there if this thing actually makes it to IMAX as predicted.

The music is nice too.

And now for something completely unexpected ...

Although we're in the "Astronomy" cycle of my too-many-interests-brained weblog, I will give into my impish side and stick something completely off-topical and "mathematical", as Math/Maths is my newest/oldest love, and I can eventually see my becoming an Applied Mathematician, someday.

Here's today question (and as an extra, I will provide the answer as well!):

A bed sheet is 0.4 millimeters thick? How many times do you have to fold it in half before it reaches the moon from Earth's surface?

Think about it. Probably an insane number of times? No! Very few times.

Let's do the math, shall we?

0 folds = 0.4 mm

1 fold - 0.8 mm

and so on

3 - 1.6
4 - 3.2 mm
5 - 6.4
6 - 12.8 mm = 1.28 cm
7 - 2.56
8 - 5.12
9 - 10.24 cm
10 - 20.5
11 - 41.0
12 - 81.9
13 - 163.8 cm
14 - 327.6
15 - 655.2
16 - 1300 (rounded)cm = 1.2 m
17 - 2.621
18 - 5.242
19 - 10.48 m
20 - 20.10 m
21 - 41.9 (Engineers like rounding things to 3 significant digits, sometime 4. Depends on our mood, which is usually cranky)
22 - 83.9
23 - 168 m
24 - 335
25 - 671
26 - 1342 m = 1.342 km
So in less than 27 folds, our paper is a kilometer long
27 - 2.684
28 - 5.37
29 - 10.73 km
30 - 21.47
31 - 42.94
32 - 85.88
33 - 171.80 km
34 - 343.60
35 - 687.02
36 - 1374.0 km
37 - 2748. km
38 - 5496
39 - 10,990 km
40 - 21,984
42 - 43,970
43 - 87,940
44 - 175,900 km
45 folds - 351,800 km

Close enough. The moon is on average 384,400 km away. Partway on the next fold you can jump off and reach your target. Best to bring a spacesuit, and another bed sheet for the return trip. :-)

That's it for today, I'm off to build my Logarithmic Star Drive, and get off this planet and as far away from the likes of Charlie Sheen as soon as possible. Hopefully somewhere out there, I will discover that somewhere in this Universe exists intelligent life. But, maybe not.

 I don't see Titan. Where the hell is Titan? Stupid graphic.