The Story

The Planets

All of the Planets on a wall

Proportional Planets are a set of high quality images of the planets, proportionally scaled, cut-out (die cut), and printed on vinyl with an adhesive backing.

The story of Proportional Planets goes back to the early 80′s.  One night when I was young I was having a conversation with my mom before bed about the Earth, Sun and Moon.

I asked her, “The Earth is bigger than the moon right?”
“Yes” she replied.
“And the sun and moon are about the same size right?”
“Well no, the sun is much, much bigger than the Earth.”
“Really? Really!?”

A few days later a book titled “The Universe” appeared in my room and I think it was the inside cover that had an image like the one in the header above with all the planets and the Sun proportionally scaled.  It was amazing to see the Earth next to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; they were all so huge!  There was just a slice of the sun because it is so big and I remember tracing the rest of the curve around my room.  I remember just being awestruck by the size of it all and I have been forever hooked on astronomy.

Cut to a few years ago and now I am talking to children of my own at their bedside at night.  They have glow-in-the dark stars on their ceilings and a set of images of the planets.  They’re cool but they aren’t to scale.  Jupiter is just a little bit bigger than the Earth and Neptune is bigger than Saturn.

So I wondered, how big would they be?

I found some great images online but what I was really looking for was something I could put up on a wall or ceiling.  I searched and searched and searched but found nothing.  I searched more and more and found nothing.  I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t seem to exist!

So I decided to make it myself.

I found great NASA images online, sized them up and printed out a prototype on paper. The scale of the planets was astounding!  I then searched here and abroad for someone to print it out at a reasonable cost, finally settled with a great place in Minneapolis, Shapco Printing, so these are made in the USA from a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified printer.

Obviously I am biased but I think they look pretty cool!  Click on some of the images below I think you will agree.  I especially love in the photo of Saturn and the Earth where you can see through the gaps in the rings to the planet below (the bright areas are artifacts from the flash of my camera) .

Saturn and Earth

Photo of Saturn and Earth on a wall, proportionally scaled.

Jupiter and Earth

Photo of Jupiter and Earth on a wall, proportionally scaled.

Saturn and Earth Proportionally Scaled

These are big images! The rings of Saturn are 54 inches across!

Thanks for reading, I hope it is something that will inspire and awe you and your’s!  My goal is for every astronomy classroom, every science museum, and every astronomy loving household in the world to have a set of Proportional Planets!  I hope you will join me in this effort to educate and inform how amazing just our corner of the universe truly is!

Sincerely,

Peter Vickerman
President, Proportional Planets, Inc.

Feel free to browse more images

If you can’t wait to get a copy for yourself, click on the order page!

One Response to The Story

  1. crookedman says:

    Peter,
    I love your proportional planets! I’m going to get a set for myself, and do my best to get a set for the local elementary school. We desperately need to get our kids engaged with science, and this is a GREAT way to start! I just wanted to let you know what a fabulous resource I believe this will be for young people the world over, and to thank you for going the extra mile when you found that there simply wasn’t any such teaching aid available anywhere. Thanks again.
    Best wishes,
    Victor Smith

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