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Planetary scales

compiled by Dinoj Surendran

(with thanks to several NASA satellites, Calvin J. Hamilton, and others)

Updated 12 Sep 2007. The old version erroneously gave Earth and Venus the same radius (Earth is slightly bigger).

This exhibit prototype, which runs on Linux and Windows and OS X, demonstrates the different scales of Solar System planets in relation to the sun and each other. Moons, asteroids, and planetoids haven't been added yet. The ten objects (sun + 9 planets) line up like Russian dolls. A crossectional view (available by default in the low-res version) is shown to the right. A view of Jupiter inside the sun is to the left.

Download: The 8Mb solsyscale_lores.zip is a version that should be sufficient for most needs. If you want higher-resolution images of Sol and the rocky planets, try the 21Mb solsyscale_hires.zip Higher-Resolution version.

Mac users should click on solsyscale.command.

Windows users should click on either solsycale.bat or solsyscale.exe (which is a Macromedia Director version made using Toshiyuki Takahei's plugin.

GNU/Linux users should ensure that data/partiview and solsyscale.csh are executable ("chmod +x data/partiview", etc) and then run solsyscale.csh

GeoWall users should run the *_geowall* files.

Screenshots:

Credits

Planetary radius information, and most of the pictures used, came from the Views of the Solar System site by Calvin J. Hamilton, though the Mars texture comes from the USGS based on Viking images and the Earth texture from NASA's Blue Marble site. The radii of the spheres are accurate to the nearest 10 kilometers.