Size of Planets

Compare scaled images of each planet in the Solar System.
A blue and grey exhibit with a table at the front with clear discs sitting on top. At the back is a verticl information panel.

Planets in the Solar System vary greatly in size, but it's not possible to show both planet scale and distance between planets at the same time, due to the massive size of our Solar System.

How it works

Compare scaled images of each planet in the Solar System.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Is it possible to show both the scale of planet size and the distance between planets at the same time?
  • How big would the Sun be at this scale?

Background

When planetary images are scaled down to tabletop size, the Sun's scaled image is still too large to show, indicating how massive the Sun is in real scale.

It's not possible to use the same scale to show both the size of planets and the distance between those planets in a way that would allow you to model the Solar System. A different scale must be used to show size of planets versus distance between planets.

Finding the science in your world

Due to the massive size of planets and the distances between each planetary orbit, some of the planetary discs in this exhibit would need to be located hundreds of metres and even kilometres away to represent both the planet size and distance at this scale.