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The Planets Are Very, Very, Very Far Away

A Journey Through the Amazing Scale of the Solar System

By Mike Vago

The solar system unfolds before your eyes in this cheeky, myth-busting book (grounded in real math)!

Quick: Picture the solar system. Do you see nine planets on tidy rings around the Sun? Then you have been lied to!

It’s not without reason: We have to draw the solar system that way to fit it on a place mat, or a lunch box, or into an ordinary book. But that familiar diagram is wrong about almost everything—and so this is no ordinary book. Seven double-gatefold pages open out not once but twice, capturing our planetary neighbors at scale.

At a 100,000,000,000-to-1 scale, the Sun is about the size of a dime. And five feet away from the Sun, we find . . . Earth, the size of a pinhead. A hundred-billion-to-one scale is not nearly small enough to fit our solar system into a book (or onto a soccer field)! How small do we need to go? Unfold the next three spreads to find out . . .

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Review quotes
“Conversational narration uses tongue-in-cheek humor to point out that the planets do not match the neat circular orbits that textbooks depict. Gatefolds, plus an accessible discussion of scale using the metric system, clarify cosmic distances. . . . Sure to leave audiences feeling incredulous—and incredibly small.”Publishers Weekly
The Planets are Very Very Very Far Away is an excellent book. One that has a mission and 100% succeeds at completing it. If you’re looking to inspire your children to the wonders of the Solar System, this is an excellent and innovative way to do so.”GeekDad
Product Details
Age range
10 - 99
Grade range
5 - 17
Number of pages
Publication date
April 04, 2023