One of the most difficult things about thinking about space is to imagine the scale of things. It’s not easy to comprehend the enormous distances, sizes and temperatures that are involved.
So when scientists tell us that Jupiter is 142, 984 km (88, 846 miles) across at the equator – 11 times the diameter of our planet – it sounds big, but just how big?
John Brady at Astronomy Central has come up with a useful way to help us compare sizes as in the two examples, above. North America stretches across the face of Mars (top) but looks like a speck of moss near the great storm on Jupiter.
Similarly, the size of Saturn’s rings are put into perspective below.
Brady has lots more fascinating comparisons here.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.