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Share Your Story • James Beeler • December 2, 2012

A Book And A Poster

As a child age 5, there was a map of the solar system that hung on the wall of the room my older brother and I shared. And our family had a children’s book entitled “The Sun, The Moon and the Stars” by Ira Freeman. In the book were pictures of many of the planets. At such a young age, I knew “The World” was huge, yet here the text was saying that Jupiter dwarfed the earth. I would look in awe and fear at this drawing of Jupiter, mildly fearing it may engulf the earth. The poster had drawings of the sun and all nine planets. And here was a drawing of the sun that dwarfed even mighty Jupiter. [Not soon after, my dad told me there was a star named Betelgeuse that dwarfed even the sun (my grandpa said jokingly "That star sounds like something you get when you step on a brick with a bug under it", one of the last memories I have of him)]. Between the poster and the book, I knew all the planets by name, in order of distance from the sun, size and number of moons by age 5. Both the poster and the book put a live-long passion in me that lead to a Bachelors Degree in Astronomy and a career in the aerospace industry. The poster was lost in our families move from the SF Bay Area to LA County, age 6. However the vision of it is ingrained in my subconscious—it was my first ever vision of the solar system. The poster appears briefly in the movie “Invaders From Mars”, 1953 and “Angry Red Planet”, 1960. I now know this poster to be incorrect as it had Neptune listed as being larger than Uranus which we now know not to be true, but I would still like a copy of it for display in my aerospace-themed den for nostalgic purposes. However, I have been unable to find it, probably because no one wants to sell a solar system poster that is technically inaccurate. Can anyone help me find a copy of this poster?

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