To help us visualize the distances between the objects of our Solar System, let’s build a scale model in a virtual city so we can get a better sense of the scales and distances between the planets, as well as the distance to the nearest star!
There have been a few fun examples of scale Solar System models on YouTube but I haven’t seen any that can clearly show the distances between the outermost planets and the sun. We’ll start in a football stadium which will contain the Sun and four inner-most planets then venture out into the city to find scale versions of the remaining planets (and dwarf planet Pluto). Wait until you see how far away the nearest star is!
If you liked this video, you might also be interested in our video about the size of the Universe, featuring the Hubble Deep Field Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c3xuYs75IU
Planetary data aquired from NASA at: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/
Solar data aquired from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri
If anyone is interested, I arrived at my calculations by using a scale factor of 0.0000315936709261 to convert kilometers to centimeters, based on scaling the sun with a radius of 696,342km down to a radius of 22cm for the beach ball. Then I used a spreadsheet to calculate the remaining sizes and distances using this scale factor.
I didn’t mention this in the video, but if you’re interested in how big Proxima Centauri is in this scale, it’s about 12cm in diameter, or about the size of a shot put ball or medium-sized grapefruit. There’s a LOT of empty space between our beach ball sun and that little grapefruit!
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This video is transcribed for the hearing-impaired and for translation into any language.