Astronomy isn’t exactly cuddly, but now there’s a cute little video that shows the relative sizes of the earth, its near neighbor planets, gas giants (like Neptune), the sun, Arcturus, and a variety of larger stars. It’s from Cycomedia via Google Video UK via Information Aesthetics; the originating site promises an updated version sometime in January. My quibble: the current version doesn’t make clear that W Cephei — more than 288,000 times the size of the earth — is a star and not a humongous planet.

At a series of static views shows much the same thing. They just did manage to get Arcturus, our sun, and Jupiter in the same picture: Arcturus takes up half the space, Jupiter is just a single pixel, and Earth is invisible at that scale.

The Adler Planetarium’s Infinity Shop has an “inflatable solar system” for $36.95, but I don’t think the planets are to scale.