Lunar and Planetary Institute






 


A Spacecraft Tour of the Solar System

Comparative Information

The planetary data table below provides direct comparisons between the Earth and other objects in the solar system. Values are scaled to absolute values for Earth: sidereal period = 365.25 days, volume = 1.08 × 1012 km3, mass = 5.976 × 1024 kg, surface gravity = 9.80 m s–2, and rotational period = 23.93 hr (sidereal day). For example, the surface gravity of Mars is 0.38 × 9.80 = 3.72 m s2.

Planetary Data Table

Object
Sidereal Period
Volume
Mass
Surface Gravity
Rotational Period

Sun
1,3000,000
333,000

28.000

24.600*
Mercury
0.2410
0.056
0.055
0.370
58.700
Venus
0.6150
0.860
0.815
0.910
–243.00†
Earth
1.0000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
Moon
0.0748
0.020
0.012
0.170
27.300
Mars
1.8800
0.150
0.107
0.380
1.030
Jupiter
11.9000
1300.000
318.000
2.300
0.411
Saturn
29.5000
760.000
95.200
0.880
0.428
Uranus
84.0000
50.000
14.500
0.960
–0.720†
Neptune
165.0000
45.000
17.100
1.300
0.671
Pluto
248.0000
0.0055
0.0023
0.073
6.390

* Rotational period at the equator of the Sun.
† Rotation is retrograde, opposite to rotation of Earth.

Unit conversion:
1 mm = 0.1 cm = 0.03937 in = 0.003281 ft = 0.00000006214 mi
1 in = 0.08333 ft = 0.00001578 mi = 25.4 mm = 2.54 cm

Solar System Dimensions

Object
Diameter
Average Distance from Sun

Sun
109.000
Mercury
0.383
4540.0
Venus
0.948
8480.0
Earth
1.000
11,700.0
Moon
0.273
30.2*
Mars
0.533
17,900.0
Jupiter
11.200
61,000.0
Saturn
9.450
112,000.0
Uranus
4.020
225,000.0
Neptune
3.880
352,000.0
Pluto
0.180
463,000.0

* Average distance from the Earth.

The equatorial diameter of the Earth, 12,756 kilometers (7654 miles), is defined to be one unit in this scale.

Solar system dimensions can be illustrated on whatever scale is chosen to represent Earth. If Earth were represented by a grain of sand 0.2 millimeters (0.05 inches) in diameter, the Sun would then be 0.2 × 109 = 21.8 millimeters (0.86 inches) in diameter, located 0.2 × 11,700 = 2340 millimeters (92 inches) from Earth, and Pluto would be 0.2 × 463,000 = 92,600 millimeters (304 feet) from the Sun. Similar comparisons can be made with a standard 30.5-cm (12-inch)-diameter globe of Earth, with a corresponding increase in the relevant distances and sizes for the other planets.

 

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