This post includes 2 intriguing and beautiful infographics.
The Drake Equation, devised in 1961 by astronomy professor Frank Drake, is a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. Although it is not a rigorous equation, it offers a wide range of possible answers. The Infographic “Are We Alone” [bbc.com], designed by Information is Beautiful, makes the equation more accessible by allowing people to interact with its various parameters, such as “average number of inhabitable planets per solar system” or “% chance that life develops intelligence”. While not heavy on data graphics, the little icons subtly change according to the data input.
“Space Race” [bbc.com], also designed by Piero Zagami and Information is Beautiful, depicts the physical size of our solar system by way of a long, long infographic that spans about 27 pages of A4 paper (when printed). Note that the vertical scale changes along the infographic.The accompanying news article can be found here.