Sometimes we need to come across an animation on Twitter to truly understand, or at least begin to understand, the incredible diversity of elements that make up our Solar System. That’s where the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) planetary astronomer James O’Donoghue comes in.
O’Donoghue tweeted a short animation showing the sizes, rotational speeds, and axis tilts of Solar System objects, including Earth, starting with the dwarf planet Ceres and zooming out until it finally hits the Sun. A slightly higher quality version of the same video is also available on YouTube.
Even if you know the relative size of everything in the Solar System, you never fully realize that crucial point at which Jupiter and the Sun enter their field of view, or how fast Jupiter rotates relative to the Earth. you may not have. We recommend taking some time to watch these spinning orbs. The video is only 45 seconds long, but fascinating enough that you can watch it several times. It has already reached more than 15 million views.
Dimensions, slopes and turns are all compared to scale in this video, but as you might expect, they are not in their actual location. All the planets and stars you see have been zoomed in to fit in the same video.
If you want to know some numbers behind the animation… Our own planet is 12,742 kilometers wide. Jupiter, on the other hand, has a diameter of 139,820 kilometers, which is more than 10 times larger.
The diameter of the Sun is about 1.39 million kilometers, that is, about 10 times larger than Jupiter in diameter and 100 times larger than Earth. In other words, about a million Earths could fit inside the Sun…