Planets Are Very, Very, Very Far Away: A Journey Through the Amazing Scale of the Solar System
Quick: Picture the solar system. Do you see nine planets on tidy rings around the Sun? Then you have been lied to!
It’s not without reason: We have to draw the solar system that way to fit it on a place mat, or a lunch box, or into an ordinary book. But that familiar diagram is wrong about almost everything—and so this is no ordinary book. Seven double-gatefold pages open out not once but twice, capturing our planetary neighbors at scale.
At a 100,000,000,000-to-1 scale, the Sun is about the size of a dime. And five feet away from the Sun, we find . . . Earth, the size of a pinhead. A hundred-billion-to-one scale is not nearly small enough to fit our solar system into a book (or onto a soccer field)! How small do we need to go? Unfold the next three spreads to find out . . .