Hi, I teach 8th grade science and I wanted to take my students outside onto the football field and have them represent the solar system. My questions are: If we go out to the field and make the earth the size of a marble, how big and how far away should the other planets and the sun be? I looked at solar system live and I will be able to place the planets from there, but I don't know how far apart they should be? Do you have any suggestions?
P.S. Our field is just a little bit larger than 2 football fields.
I worked out what a scale model of the solar system would look like with the Earth the size of a 1 cm marble, but I don't think it'll fit in your space! Here's what I got:
Object | Diameter (cm) | Distance from Sun (m) |
Sun | 109 | -- |
Mercury | 0.38 | 46 |
Venus | 0.95 | 84 |
Earth | 1.0 | 118 (387 ft) |
Mars | 0.53 | 178 |
Jupiter | 11.2 | 610 (2000 ft) |
Saturn | 9.4 | 1120 |
Uranus | 4.0 | 2250 |
Neptune | 3.9 | 3530 |
Pluto | 0.18 | 5800 (3.6 miles) |
So, it doesn't look like this particular scale will work. To fit it on the space of two football fields, I think you will have to use something very small, like sand, or points on a piece of paper, for the smallest planets. I found a site that will calculate the scale model for you if you input the Sun size. I would just try putting in different sizes for the Sun and see if you can get something that will work for you.
Here is a useful site with a huge number of links about scale model solar systems.
Last updated Jan 28, 2019