Local Newspaper Report

written by Mike Lewis

General Information

These reports appear in the last Thursday of the month (before our monthly meeting held on the first Thursday of the month) editions of the 'Clacton and Frinton Gazette' and the 'Harwich and Manningtree Standard' in their 'Neighbourhood News' sections

The Brian Cottis Memorial Lecture

The Solar System - A Personal/Local Perspective

by Bob Leon

5th January 2017

The Solar System is a very large place and in order to get a feeling for the sizes and distances of the planets everyday objects can be used to represent these. If Jupiter was taken as an exercise ball 55cm in diameter, at this scale the Sun would be 5.5m in diameter, Mercury the size of a 5 pence coin, Earth the size of a snooker ball and Saturn the size of a dustbin lid and so on for the other planets. Similar methods can be used to compare the gravity of the planets eg: a 1 kilogram bag of sugar on Earth would weigh about 2kg on Jupiter and on Mars just under 1/2 a kilogram of sugar.

And when compared with the distances of the planets from the Sun, using the same scale again , a ball with a 5.35m diameter to represent the Sun placed at Clacton Pier, Mercury would be 0.22km, Earth would be 0.57km, Jupiter just under 3km, Neptune around 17.3km and distant Pluto at 22.5km!!!