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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Incomprehensibility Follow-Up

More laugh-out-loud fun with numbers. I promise to be brief.

Review: Grasping Incomprehensibility

I realized that I did not try to quantify how big of a computer monitor we would need to show the trend line of our ACE without changing the scale. Our display shows the ACE up to 300MW high or low before it goes off the edge. We can still see the +/- 300MW numeric value when it goes out that far, but the trend line falls off the monitor.

Anyway, today I did the math.

When the ACE jumped to 1,428,382,474,567,680, how high would that theoretical trend line have gone? Try 3 trillion miles. 3,005,855,375,774 miles, to be exact.

To put that into perspective, that is 819 times the distance from the Sun to Pluto.

It is 8.25% of the distance to the next closest star, Proxima Centauri.

If you wanted to see the top of that trend when it happened, you would have to travel at the speed of light for just over six months to get to the high end of your theoretical cosmic computer monitor.

See, math can be fun if you let it.

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