The Secret Lives of Planets is a great & accessible read about our solar system. Paul Murdin does a great job of taking you on a tour from the innermost planet of our system to the outermost planet, branching out to the occasional dwarf planets and satellites. He shares what we currently know about the planets and how we got to know that. There are even some planets that contributed to the discoveries (and proof for) scientific theories.

To pay tribute to his book, I created a little data visualisation about big numbers:

The distances to the sun of the planets in our solar systems. By reading the book, I also learned about a new metric: Astronomical Units (AU). It’s the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It’s about 150.000.000 kilometres. That is far. And now I know that it’s only a 0.00000034 AU drive to my parent’s place.

Even if you’re only slightly interested in our planets, I highly recommend reading Paul’s book.

This data visualisation was made manually using the free and open source application InkScape.