Compare the sizes of the Sun and the planets.
If you have ever put together a model or drawn a picture of an object, you are familiar with the concept of scale. Whenever you re-create an object that is not "life-size," you must reduce each part of it by the same proportion. If the model is one-tenth full size, then each part of the model should be one-tenth the full size of that part.
The proportion of the full size that you make your model is the scale. For example, if you were going to make models of the Sun and planets that started with the Sun being reduced to a 1 meter ball, your scale would be 1 meter divided by the diameter of the Sun. To calculate the scale, you first need to make sure you are using the same units for both measurements. The diameter of the Sun is 1,391,000 kilometers. Remember that 1.0 meter is one thousandth of a kilometer. The calculation of the scale would be:
.001 km / 1,391,000 km = 0.00000000072
The scale would be 1.0 to 0.00000000072.
So, if the Sun were a 1 meter sphere, how big would Jupiter be? To find that out, you multiply the diameter of Jupiter, which is 142,984 km, times the scale (0.00000000072). If you get out your trusty calculator, you will find that Jupiter would be 0.000103 km or 0.103 meters in diameter. This means, if the Sun were a 1 meter sphere, Jupiter would be just over .1 meter in diameter or about 1/10 the size of the Sun. You can divide the diameter of Jupiter by the diameter of the Sun to see if this is correct!
The following table provides the diameters of the Sun and planets.
Object Diameter (km)
Mon Mar 08 2021 16:28:13 GMT-0500 (EST)