The amazing scale of the solar system unfolds before your eyes
Quick: Picture the solar system. Do you see nine planets on tidy rings around the Sun? Then you have been lied to!
It’s not without reason: We have to draw the solar system that way to fit it on a placemat, a lunchbox, or in an ordinary book. But that familiar diagram is wrong about almost everything—and so this is no ordinary book. Seven gatefold pages open out not once but twice, capturing our planetary neighbors at scale.
At a trillion-to-one scale, the Sun is about the size of a dime. And five feet away from the Sun, we find . . . Earth, the size of a pinhead. A trillion-to-one scale is not nearly small enough to fit our solar system into a book (or onto a soccer field)! How small do we need to go? Unfold the next three spreads to find out . . .