Ever since reading Bill Bryson’s magnificent A Short History of Nearly Everything a few years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the actual size and scale of our own solar system. Sure, we’ve all seen the textbook diagrams and homemade models with foam planets – but have you any idea how wrong those are? The actual solar system is so large – there’s so much space between planets – that it simply cannot be accurately represented to scale in any convenient way.
That is, until this lovely website came along. (Well, it’s still not entirely convenient – you have to scroll over half a mile to reach the end). Spend a few minutes here exploring the actual vastness of space, and those foam models will never look the same.
For more misleading science diagrams/anecdotes, check out this video by mental floss: