Is the size of the solar system truly unimaginable? Or can we scale the vastness down to comprehensive measures and understand it better?
Our Solar System
The Solar System is a vast and complex network of celestial bodies including the Sun, planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets and other space debris. It spans an incredible distance of around 4.6 billion kilometers or 2.8 billion miles and yet, even at this massive scale it is just a tiny speck in the vast expanse of the universe.
It’s vastness has awed even the most brilliant minds in scientific history. What is the true size of the solar system, that enthralls us with every discovery, after all? TrueSizeOf app from Mapulator realizes the possibility of scaling the solar system by equating the elements to sizes that we can relate to. The vastness of the astronomical world can be interestingly scaled down to relatable sizes against the backdrop of a map and understood well on TrueSizeOf.
Solar System Planets
The solar system is a vast and complex system that consists of the Sun, eight planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets and other celestial bodies. The Sun is a massive star at the center of the solar system, exerts a powerful gravitational force that holds the entire system together.
The sequence of planets in our solar system, arranged in order of their proximity to the sun and moving outwards is as follows: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Each and every planet has a unique set of characteristics, including its size and volume.
Here are the size, mass, and volume measurements for each planet in our solar system, listed in order from closest to the sun to farthest:
Mercury: Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. It is the closest planet to the Sun.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 4,880 km (3,032 miles)
- Mass: 3.3 x 10^23 kg (about 5.5% of Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 6.1 x 10^10 km^3
Venus: Venus is often called Earth’s “sister planet” because of its similar size and composition. It is the hottest planet in our solar system.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 12,104 km (7,521 miles)
- Mass: 4.9 x 10^24 kg (about 81.5% of Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 9.3 x 10^11 km^3
Earth: Earth is the third planet from the sun and the only known planet with the ability to support life. Earth is the only one with liquid water.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 12,742 km (7,917 miles)
- Mass: 5.97 x 10^24 kg
- Volume: 1.08 x 10^12 km^3
Mars: Mars is sometimes called the “Red Planet” because of its reddish appearance in the night sky.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 6,779 km (4,212 miles)
- Mass: 6.4 x 10^23 kg (about 11% of Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 1.6 x 10^11 km^3
Jupiter: Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system which is more than 1,300 times the volume of Earth.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 139,822 km (86,881 miles)
- Mass: 1.9 x 10^27 kg (about 318 times Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 1.43 x 10^15 km^3
Saturn: Saturn is known for its distinctive rings. Which are made up of ice and rock particles.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 116,460 km (72,367 miles)
- Mass: 5.7 x 10^26 kg (about 95 times Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 8.27 x 10^14 km^3
Uranus: Uranus is the third-largest planet in the solar system and is known for its blue-green color. Uranus Planet is tilted on its side.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 50,724 km (31,763 miles)
- Mass: 8.7 x 10^25 kg (about 14.5 times Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 6.83 x 10^13 km^3
Neptune: Neptune is the farthest planet from the sun and is also known for its blue color.
- Size: Diameter of approximately 49,244 km (30,775 miles)
- Mass: 1.02 x 10^26 kg (about 17 times Earth’s mass)
- Volume: 6.25 x 10^13 km^3
All the eight planets, including Earth orbit the Sun in nearly circular paths while moons orbit the planets in a similar fashion. Dwarf planets such as Pluto and Ceres also exist in the outer reaches of the solar system along with countless asteroids and comets that orbit the Sun in irregular paths. The solar system is a fascinating and dynamic system that has inspired countless scientific discoveries and continues to amaze us with its complexity and beauty.
For more information, you can also refer to Wikipedia!
Why bother about the true size of the solar system?
Remember that viral video that started with the earth’s moon and sequenced up to the largest star known to man so far with an underlying idea that we are all but a tiny speck in the vast, wide universe? The scaling of the solar system to understand its unimaginable size is evidently a fascinating process that a lot of astronomy enthusiasts attempt to do. The internet is full of content that compares planets and stars to everyday items and demonstrate their size and distance from one another.
TrueSizeOf from Mapulator is our access to scaling the solar system ourselves and obtaining a subjective idea of how big the solar system is. How far is the moon from earth? How much bigger than our planet is Jupiter really? And how far is Pluto’s orbit from that of earth’s? Questions of the kind pertaining to the vastness of the solar system naturally occur to us at sight of the night sky or the occasional sighting of a planet, seemingly right beside our moon. But how close to each other are they really? And to the ones amazed by the astronomical possibilities as such, TrueSizeOf is an addictive portal that allows endless exploration and indulgence.
Understanding the solar system and humankind’s progressive assignation with it has long since been associated with people of Science. That does not rule out the importance of layman’s curiosities with it. Simplifying the technicalities of scaling the size of the solar system and making the process of understanding it a handy activity is what TrueSizeOf does. It is confidently a value addition to the tools that internet provides for the astronomically curious minds to grow more insightful. It is self explanatory, easy to use and aesthetically constructed for a full experience.
The Central Identity
How do we understand the solar system after all? The true size of the solar system and the planets and stars in it are best understood from the reference point of the sun. TrueSizeOf adapts the same idea and centers the data on the sun, scaled down to a size that you can choose and presents a comprehensive, illustrated yardstick to perceive the scale of every other element in the solar system.
The size of the sun is a variable on the tool, allowing you to experiment with the scale and view the cosmic elements in different yardsticks. You can analyze sizes of planets, their distances from each other and compare celestials to obtain perspectives of their sizes in contrast to one another. Interestingly, it all happens over the backdrop of a map, so you know the ratio of the units of distance involved. And the size of the sun can be used as a variable to understand other planets and stars.
Mapulator basically deals with the concepts of distance and land area. TrueSizeOf is an innovation that expands to the entire solar system and makes the understanding of its scale a fun and easily comprehensible activity. Astronomy has and will continue to indulge brilliant minds and decoding the scale of the solar system in a fun manner with TrueSizeOf is something that all enthusiasts can get on board with.
In conclusion, TrueSizeOf provides a useful way to compare the size of the solar system to Earth’s surface. Here is one example of it: compare the size of Jupiter the largest planet in our solar system to Earth’s surface. Jupiter’s diameter is approximately 11 times that of Earth and it is located about five times farther from the sun than Earth. With TrueSizeOf, users can gain a better understanding of the scale of our solar system and the vast differences in size between celestial bodies.