Can I see a graph of the nine planets orbiting the Sun? 


2 Answers

Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
As of the 24th August 2006, the Solar System only contains eight planets.

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto was considered to be a planet, but it was downgraded by the International Astronomical Union to dwarf planet status in 2006.

The Eight Planets of The Solar System
The Sun is by far the largest body in the Solar System, accounting for approximately 98% of its total mass, and with an equatorial diameter of almost 1.4 million kilometres.

Jupiter is the largest planet by far, with an equatorial diameter of 142,800 kilometres.

Earth is the largest of the four inner planets, which also include Mercury, Venus and Mars. Earth is also the fifth-largest planet, with an equatorial distance of 12,800 kilometres - which is still less than 10% of the diameter of Jupiter.

Earth is approximately 150,000,000 kilometres from the Sun - and this distance is otherwise known as an astronomical unit, which is the standard unit of measurement used to measure distance within the Solar System.

Saturn has the most pronounced rings of all of the planets, which make it one of the most instantly recognisable. It is smaller than Jupiter, but still large, with an equatorial diameter of 120,000 kilometres.

Uranus and Neptune bring up the rear. These are the two farthest planets from the Sun, and they both have a similar equatorial distance: Uranus at 51,200 kilometres, and Neptune at 48,600 kilometres.

I won't post a graph of the planets here, since you wouldn't be able to fully appreciate the scale involved, but I recently discovered an impressive 3D simulation of the Solar System, which should give you a pretty good idea.
Oddman Profile
Oddman answered
The Solar System is an incredible amount of empty space. You could put a small dot in the middle of a piece of paper, claim it represents the sun, and say all the rest of the planets are shown to scale.

For any reasonable size piece of paper, the remainder of the solar system would be too small to see without a microscope - even if you knew where to look. Nobody could demonstrate your "graph" to be incorrect.

Here are some descriptions of different scale models of the solar system, and some that are not to scale.

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