I’m sure the top gif most of you recognize. It’s very cool and mind blowing. Unfortunately it isn’t terribly accurate. The person that made it used information from a source who believes there are lizard people controlling the world.
It’s always disappointing when you think you’ve learned something cool and then you find out you were given bad information. Getting that sense of pride from acquiring more knowledge and then having it yanked from your squishy organic database.
The main problem with the first gif is that the sun does not lead all the planets like a dog-walker lugging pups in tow. Our little solar system is actually tilted back 60 degrees as shown in the second gif. Sometimes planets are in front of the sun. Sometimes behind.
I don’t feel too duped by this. As far as bad information goes, a 60 degree tilt is certainly not the most egregious error I’ve encountered on the internet. But I do wish there was an animation that was just as cool with an accurate depiction. The one I found kind of makes me nauseous.
There are some other issues with the video this was gif’d from and some other videos that were made in followup. If you want to read some good science and qualified debunking of this swirly gif and those videos, you can check out Phil Plait’s article here.
Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, artwork for advertising poster, 1894. Germanisches Nationalmuseum