­xkcd thread

That’s what the comic shows. 1/8" for Mercury, 1" for Venus…

D’oh! Shows how much I pay attention to details… SQUIRREL !

Thanks T-Man

Jupiter will be a trip hazard.

Yup, you might bump into it on a trip to Saturn. But I’m not really sure what density Randall is assuming, presumably the mean density? That must still make it all gassy. Probably you could stick your hand through it.

Randall Munroe
I don’t know why NASA keeps rejecting my proposals to improve the solar system.

He’s talking to the wrong people–the Army Corps of Engineers handles this sort of thing.

I’m curious why he chose to flatten Mars to less than a millimeter while leaving Jupiter at 18". As you say, it’s a definite tripping hazard. Why not spread Jupiter’s width over a larger radius? Is he using each planet’s distance from the Sun as its maximum radius?

I think he’s putting each in a band from its own orbit, to the orbit of the next planet in (or to the surface of the Sun, for Mercury).

Ok, mean densities (which I’m guessing are what Randall assumed) are (in g/cm^3)

Earth 5.5
Mars 3.9
Jupiter 1.3
Saturn 0.7

So you could certainly squish down the gas giants considerably.

According to this, it looks like there might be a dusting of gas but the majority of the rest of it is liquid. Wear your galoshes!

Either that, or the real orbit is in the exact middle of each flattened planet’s disc.

It’s dictated by the size of each planet and the amount of area it has to cover when flattened to cover the space from its orbit to the next orbit inward (or to the solar surface in the case of Mercury). Mars is flattened the thinnest because it’s the second smallest and is spread over a much bigger area than the only smaller planet (Mercury).

That makes sense, but I think it’s just poor planning and design.

Munroe vastly eases measurement; just smear until nothing.

Well, that’s why NASA rejected the idea.

It’s good that Pluto was kicked out of the club, or it would be a thin smear across Neptune and extending out a few AU.

I was wondering how you pick anything against the Imperial March, but the March of the Ents might give the Empire a good battle.

Do the Ents have the same plot armor as the Ewoks?

Nah. The Ent Beechbone was killed assaulting Isengard (in the book, not in the film).

Well, one Ewok died on Endor. I think it’s still an open question.

Ewoks can kill foolish stormtroopers but Ents could tear open the base doors with their bare hands.