Scientist Unveils Animation That Shows the Scale of the Solar System

Scientist Unveils Animation That Shows the Scale of the Solar System

If you’re the least bit interested in astronomy, surely you had been fascinated while trying to imagine how big Jupiter is compared to Earth, or not to mention the Sun. Our planet looks like the tip of a needle compared to our star.

The Solar System we all live in is full of mysteries, and that’s part of its beauty. It contains planets made of gas and ice, as well as ‘living Hells’ such as Venus and Mercury. There are also dozens of moons and billions of inert asteroids. But most of all, the Solar System is home to a planet that’s teeming with an incredible diversity of life: Earth. With roughly 8.7 million species, including plants, our planet is a true miracle of nature. 

James O’Donoghue is an astronomer from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and he made a beautiful animation for the world to understand better the true scale of our Solar System:

We can see from the video that planet Mars, for instance, is significantly smaller than Earth. The planet where space agencies hope to send humans one day is almost half the size of Earth. 

The Sun accounts for over 99 percent of the total mass of the Solar System. Our star is huge compared to any planet that revolves around it, even Jupiter. For instance, Earth is about 109 times less wide than the Sun. Our star measures 864,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) wide. But what’s perhaps even more fascinating is that compared to other stars from other solar systems, our Sun is just a medium-sized star. 

Jupiter, on the other hand, is the biggest planet in the Solar System. It’s a gas giant, meaning that there’s no ‘playground’ available for humans or pretty much any form of life we know about. Jupiter measures 88,846 miles (142,984 km) in diameter at its equator, which makes it 11 times wider than Earth.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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