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Thread: Making a solar system diagram?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Making a solar system diagram?

    If I were to make a diagram of our solar system that showed the sun and each planet's path of orbit, what what be the proper proportions to fit it on an A4 piece of paper? And what if I wanted to make one from A4 pieces of paper, but all joined together so it's covering half my bedroom wall?

    Something like this:
    Or this:

    But labeled with the distances between each planet, sizes of the planets, distances of their orbits and how fast their orbits are.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    When I was in high school I drew a diagram of the Solar System on my
    bedroom wall at the scale of 1:1 trillion. The Sun was a circle 1.4 mm in
    diameter. (Carefully-pointed 3H lead in an engineer's mechanical pencil.)
    Mercury was the smallest point I could make (supposed to be less than
    0.005 mm diameter), 5.8 cm away. Earth was a dot not much larger than
    Mercury (supposed to be a little over 0.01 mm diameter), 15 cm away.
    Jupiter was a dot 0.14 mm in diameter (1/10th the diameter of the Sun),
    78 cm away. Saturn was a smaller dot, 1.4 meters from the Sun. Uranus
    was an even smaller dot, 2.8 meters from the Sun. And Neptune was
    about a meter beyond the length of my bedroom wall. The nearest star,
    Proxima Centauri, was about 40 km away.

    Here is my web page with a diagram of the Solar System at a scale of
    1 pixel = 1 million kilometers: Planet distances

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    One on StupendousMan's list, Build a Solar System the online calculator is probably what you want to play with. I think you're looking for a Sun size of .04 mm to fit on that size paper, but the only useful thing to scale would be the orbits, as even Jupiter would be microscopic.

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