Astronomy and Space


How large is the solar system?

The size of the solar system can be visualized by imagining the sun (864,000 miles in diameter; 1,380,000 km) shrunk to a diameter of one inch (about the size of a ping-pong ball). Using the same size scale, Earth would be a speck 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) in diameter and about 9 feet (2.7 meters) away from the ping-pong ball sized sun. Our moon would have a diameter of 0.0025 inches (0.06 mm; the thickness of a human hair) and only a little over one-quarter inch (6.3 mm) from Earth. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, appears as the size of a small pea (0.1 inches [2.5 mm] in diameter) and 46 feet (14 meters) from the sun.


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