Wanderings — Relative Size of Astronomical Objects

By now, you guys know that I have an interest in anything up in the sky. Here are some photos that will help give you a sense of scale.

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These are the planets closest to the Sun. Except for Pluto, which has recently been demoted as a planet and is the furthest from the Sun. The order goes Mercury, Venus, Earth, then Mars.

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The big boys, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, come next. As you can see, Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system.

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Here’s how the planets compare in size to the Sun.

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Here’s how the Sun compares to some (relatively) nearby stars.

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Antares is the 15th brightest star in the sky. It is more than 1000 light years away. The arrow pointing to a minuscule fleck is our sun.

Just boggles my mind…

14 thoughts on “Wanderings — Relative Size of Astronomical Objects”

  1. Carl Barksdale

    I am in the middle of my Masters in Creative Writing and one of my stories deals with the…well it is uber geeky but the planets are involved and in doing research I stumbled here….Excellent perspective. There are some frightening facts out there about these planets…some have storms larger than Earth, one has an ocean that Earth can fit into and so on and so forth…I love this stuff. Thanks.

  2. Hey I love this sort of stuff! I really just want to recommend ,to anyone else who enjoys boggling their brain,2 videos on youtube: Planets and stars in size and scale and large scale structure of the universe. Very enjoyable fore sure- peace :)

  3. That was really neat. I will never forget being taught the rhyme to learn the planets….
    My very educated mother just served us nine pies = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Pluto. :)

    Cool. I didn’t know that rhyme. I’ll share it with Cait. 

  4. Talk about putting things in perspective! What a fantastic “teaching tool” this is. I hope you have used it as such. I have a telescope in the closet, and you’ve just inspired me to get it out tonight. Thank you!

  5. That is so mind boggling! I loved stargazing as a kid and spending the summer in Colorado has allowed me to see them again (no city lights/smog).

    Wow, thanks for this amazing perspective.

  6. All I can say is WOW!!

    That really put it into perspective for me. I was fascinated as I looked through each scale of planets and then thought back to us here on earth.

    How did you ever find a way to visually represent all this?

    Thanks for sharing,

    “Sunshine”

    Cait was studying the solar system and I wanted to find a way to give her a sense of scale that was lacking in her text. Don’t remember which astronomy site I found these images on.

  7. That IS fascinating. I’ve always loved astronomy and wished that it was easier to star gaze here (in summer it’s too bright and in winter it’s too cold).

    I find it fascinating that we no longer live our lives according to the cycles of the moon and the night time light it provides–Out of Africa has a great paragraph of prose to that effect.

    Oh, and thanks for the comment on the short story. Oops! I updated it because it won an honorable mention in the creative writing contest here and I wanted the post to be the same as the text I submitted. I thought I’d buried it well within the archives and feeds but your feeds must have popped it up. :)

    Yes, I think most people have become pretty disconnected from the natural rhythms of life.

    And I was glad my feed popped up your short story. It was a great read!

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