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Astronomy/Solar system to scale


If someone created the solar system to scale both in planet and sun sizes and distances what would be the total radius of the solar system both including and excluding pluto.

Hi James,

The radius of the Solar System actually has a lot of debate.  Once you get out past Neptune and the Dwarf Planets (Pluto and its friends) it gets a bit tricky where the edge of the Solar System is.  It is usually defined as going as far out as the Oort Cloud (where the comets live) which is much further away than Pluto.  For your question, I'll give you the scale to Neptune, Pluto, and the Oort Cloud.

Let's take a basketball (which is about 24 cm in diameter) to represent the Sun.  If the Sun is a basketball, then the Earth would be about 25.5 meters away.  Going out further, Neptune would be 775 meters away while Pluto would be just over 1 kilometer away! So you can see Pluto is much further away than the 8 planets.  However, if you want to continue all the way to the Oort Cloud, that would be over 130,000 kilometers away!  



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Brad Tucker


I'm happy to answer any general questions about Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology. I'm also happy to take general, specific, and detailed questions related to supernovae, Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations, the Cosmic Microwave Background, dark matter, dark energy, and the Big Bang Theory. I'm also happy to chat about Astronomy/Astrophysics education and careers, and philosophy and science.


I am a professional research astronomer/astrophysicist/cosmologist. My research focuses on studying supernovae and using them to measure the properties of the Universe, such as how fast it is growing and what it is made of. I also frequently give talks to school groups and the public, and am a regular guest on various radio stations.

Current Research Fellow at Mt. Stromlo Observatory, the Australian National University, and in the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley.

Lots of journals, including the Astrophysical Journal, the Astronomical Journal, and Nature. I am currently in the middle of writing my first popular book.

B.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA B.A. Theology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA B.Sc. Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA Ph.D. Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory, the Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

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