The Solar System on a square-root scale. The point of this representation is to have on the same scale both the size of objets and some of the distances between them.
This picture shows all known objects of the Solar System that are bigger than Ceres (included) and closer to the Sun than Neptune (included) is, plus the asteroid belt and the A and B rings of Saturn. The axis are numbered in astronomical units (AU) and million kilometers (Gm).
In this picture, the square-root scale isn't continuously applied to all the represented space like on a map. Instead it is applied separately to each of the lengths that are shown to scale, namely:
- The size of objects (equatorial radius)
- Orbiter–orbitee distances (e.g. Sun–Earth, Earth–Moon) (semi-major axis of the orbit)
- For rings and the asteroid belt, the radius of their approximate inner and outer limits.
Distances other than orbiter–orbitee are meaningless. The alignment of objects is arbitrary. Colors were not computed seriously.
The square root function applies to length ratios, which allows for such readings as:
- The Sun is shown 10.4 times as large as the Earth; it is actually 10.42≈110 times as large.
- Jupiter is shown about 1.8 as far from the Sun as Mars is; it is actually 1.82≈3.4 times as far.
- The radius of the Sun is shown 1.3 times as long as the distance from the Earth to the Moon; the Sun is actually 1.32≈1.8 times as large as the Moon's orbit.
The pictures are under license CC-BY.