A View from the Back of the Envelope top

Terameters in your hands
1012 meters per mm (Magnification of ×10-15)
Scaling the universe to your desktop
How Big Are Things?
Length Area Volume Speed
10 [ -6 | -3 | 0 | 3 | 6 | 9 | 12 | 15 | 18 ]
1015 meters per meter
If the inner solar system is a grain of sugar...

1 Tm

10 Tm

100 Tm

1000 Tm
1012 m
0.3 Tm
316 Gm
2.114 AU
3 Tm
3162 Gm
21.14 AU
1013 m
32 Tm

211.4 AU
1014 m
316 Tm
0.3 Pm
1015 m
3162 Tm
3 Pm
Jupiter orbit's diameter
1.556 Tm

Sun-Saturn distance
1.425 Tm

Light-hour (lt·hr)
1.079 Tm

Sun-Uranus distance
2.867 Tm

Neptune orbit's diameter
8.97 Tm

"Solar system diameter"

Sun-Neptune distance
4.486 Tm

Kuiper-belt diameter
10 to 15+ Tm

size & shape uncertain

Heliopause's closest edge ~20±5 Tm from Sun
Heliopause rough diameter
~~100 Tm

788.4 Tm
1 Tm per mm
Actual size (though rough, as screen resolution varies).
1/2 lt·Ms (ticks every 1/10 light-megasecond (lt·106s))
0 1/10 2/10 3/10 1/2 lt·Ms


SEDS's The Kuiper Belt and The Oort Cloud
Kuiper Belt Home Page
Some heliosphere links: from Nine Planets, faucet analogy[broken], MSFC.

A View from the Back of the Envelope
Comments encouraged. - Mitchell N Charity <mcharity@lcs.mit.edu>

  Add some content...
  Still feels quite rough.
  Oort cloud.  What else?
  Heliosphere crufty.  Does better data exist?
  Search for lt·mo scale objects.
   The image of `Kuiper and orbits' was derived from the Kuiper Belt Home Page's plan view.
     It is slightly too large (Neptune's orbit is 10.5 mm rather than 9) :(.
     Dots and orbits are of course way too thick.
     If I was doing this more carefully, objects would be single pixels to
     reduce the misimplication.
   Kuiper-belt objects (primordial remnants, with diameters up to a few 105 m),
     occur in a torus, between 35 and atleast 50 AU from sun.  Nature/5Mar98/v392/pg16.
   The heliosphere sketch was derived from MSFC's Heliosphere's heliosph.gif.

 2003-Feb-03  Repaired links - 5 fixed, 1 flagged.
 2001.Apr.20  Added link to `How Big Are Things?'.
 1999.May.19  Added heliosphere (quick and crufty).  Light-month.
 1998.Jun.17  Corrected error with magnitude boundaries (3.333->3.162).
 1998.Apr.04  Added `Kuiper and orbits' image.
 1998.Apr.02  Added J orbit dot.
 1998.Mar.11  Created.  But not released - too primative.