Friday morning video – Powers of Ten

By Chris McDowall 29/10/2010

This classic short documentary from 1977 helps viewers conceptualise the relative sizes of things in the Universe.

Powers of Ten begins with a one meter wide scene viewed from a distance of one meter. Every ten seconds the camera zooms in or out by a factor of ten. It seamlessly transitions from galactic vistas to scenes rendered at sub-atomic scales. It’s twenty years since I first saw this film and I still find it breathtaking.

The film has been remade several times. Here’s an impressive recent version from the Imax film Cosmic Voyage. Morgan Freeman provides the voiceover.

… and the obligatory Simpson introduction.

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